An important wellness trend that stems from COVID is the rising emphasis we’ll place on the quality of air as a prerequisite for both physical health and personal wellbeing. A new Harvard study conducted in more than 3,000 US counties revealed a clear and strong correlation between higher levels of particulate air pollution and higher mortality rates caused by COVID-19.

It concluded that every increase of one microgram of fine-particle air pollutants in a particular county was associated with an 11% increase in COVID-19 mortality rate in that county. At a global level, another study asserted that long-term exposure to air pollution contributed to 27% of COVID-19 deaths in China, 26% in Germany, 22% in Switzerland, 18% in France and the US, and, for obvious reasons, just 1% in New Zealand.

Every person working in the wellness industry must remember that an average individual in an average situation takes no less than 17,300 breaths per day! They forget at their peril that, while for a majority, the automatism of this life-sustaining process is a given, the quality of the air inhaled is not.

Guaranteeing that quality will become an ever-more important part of the wellness value proposition. As just one example, wellness resorts located in pristine locations will benefit from an “air premium” compared to those in polluted cities or regions. Equally, wellness activities that can harness the quality of air (like shirin yoku or walking in nature) will be favored over forms of physical exercise in air polluted city locations (like fitness).

Second: improving air quality, or avoiding air pollution, will become an explicit wellness offering. The current emphasis on indoor air quality in wellness real estate, like the development of a broad range of apps that measure the quality of air and that teach us how to properly breathe, will benefit from more wind in their sails (sales).

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