The trends set to supercharge your wellbeing in 2024

With another year of living well just around the corner, here are some of the wellness trends expected to be big in 2024. Will you be jumping on the bandwagon?

Wellness trend number 1: Cryotherapy

Loved by celebs such as Tony Robbins, Hugh Jackman and Demi Moore, whole-body cryotherapy has been around for a while but looks set to continue growing in popularity among the rest of us mere mortals. 

Enter a cryochamber, kick back and relax – if “relaxing’’ in extremely chilly temperatures for a short while is your thing.

Cryotherapy is said to offer numerous benefits, such as the potential to reduce migraine symptoms, numb nerve irritation, help treat mood disorders and reduce arthritic pain. 

It can also improve antioxidant levels in the blood and reduce inflammation.

However, less is definitely more, with those using whole-body cryotherapy warned to keep it under four minutes. 

And anyone with diabetes or other conditions that affect their nerves should steer clear.

Statistics from Future Market Insights valued the global cryotherapy market at $7.75bn in 2023, with predictions it will rise to $22bn by 2033. Brrrr. 

Wellness trend number 2: Highly personalised workouts

Co-founder of boxing fitness franchise UBX Tim West predicts fitness and wellbeing will become hyper-personalised in 2024.  

“The advancements in AI have reached a point where we can process enormous volumes of data in real time to identify patterns across a wide range of markers,” Tim says.

He says hyper-personalisation has the potential to transform the way fitness providers engage with their customers, by addressing one of the biggest challenges in the industry: the one-size-fits-all approach.

His business, for example, is exploring ways to integrate AI to create highly individualised recovery and meal plans for members to complement their club training. 

“These plans are not just tailored to an individual’s static goals, but could also adapt in real time based on their performance, biometrics and even emotional state.”

Wellness trend number 3: Shorter working weeks

With trials happening in various businesses and organisations around the world, there’s rising interest in the concept of a four-day work week Gartner vice president of research and advisory Aaron McEwan says.

“When you look at the global landscape, you’ve got a number of countries in Europe, and Australia and New Zealand, considering it at a national level,” Aaron says. 

“If that gathers more momentum and it becomes to a degree entrenched across the public service, then things could change.”

With wide-scale talent shortages still occurring, Aaron expects a “fairly slow and steady adoption” of the four-day week in Australia over the next 12 months.

“It’s not just because of the potential to positively impact wellbeing and reduce burnout rates and fatigue levels,” Aaron says. “It’s also a very effective option for attracting and retaining talent.”

Some organisations might also consider a nine-day fortnight for employees, which is already common at many mining and energy companies, he says.

Wellness trend number 4: AI bots for mental health

Another emerging trend is the use of AI bots for cognitive therapy, Tim says. 

“While the idea of a machine providing mental health support may initially seem unconventional, recent studies have shown promising results,” he says. 

Some of those studies point to the success of AI-powered tools such as Woebot, which claims to address “the skyrocketing need for mental health care” without trying to replace clinical care.

Tim says AI tools “could revolutionise how we think about and approach mental health care, making it more accessible and potentially more effective”.

Wellness trend number 5: Social wellness clubs

Forget big box gyms. If you like your workout with a bit more community and a lot more recovery, this could be the answer.

Following on from the success of the world’s first social wellness club in LA, others, such as Byron Bay’s Social Remedy and Melbourne’s Saint Haven, have set up shop and are going gangbusters.

Social Remedy head of marketing Sabrina Talo says it’s all about “seeing fitness more with a holistic approach and looking at body, mind and spirit”.

At the Byron club, you will find everything from gym spaces to Pilates and yoga, compression therapy, IV drip treatments, a Finnish sauna, hyperbaric chambers and a “recovery host’’ to guide you through several ice bath options.

“Personally, I love training with someone but you can’t really have a proper conversation while you’re training,” Sabrina says.

However in the sauna or steam room, for instance, there’s plenty of time to chat to friends or meet new ones.

Sabrina says the club was designed to foster human connection, which is a vital part of self-care. And, of course, those relaxed conversations make a nice change from the usual “grumpy gym faces”, she says.

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Written by Larissa Ham.