Generation Z (young people under the age of 30) has more psychological distress than the older population.
This trend has accelerated due to the corona epidemic, Reinhard Raml from the market research institute IFES explained at the presentation of the Austrian Health Report on behalf of the pharmaceutical company Sandoz in Vienna on Thursday. Young people are getting more tired and uncomfortable with their own bodies, what they want is more digitalization in the health sector.
People under 30 are under more psychological stress
The Austrian Health Report 2023 shows that although the epidemic has been overcome, the health of the general population continues to deteriorate. Raml said there was still “a situation that could be described as ‘under the land’.” Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) rate their overall health as very good or good. This is less than 70 percent from the previous year and significantly less than before the Covid outbreak. While 16 percent are completely dissatisfied with the healthcare system, only 45 percent are very satisfied. “We have never had such a bad result,” said the IFES director general.
1,003 people participated in the survey, 363 of whom were under the age of 20
A total of 1,003 people were surveyed; of these, 363 were aged 16 to 19; This roughly corresponds to the generation called Generation Z. 29 percent of this younger age group rate their mental health as very good or good, compared to 63 percent of those aged 30-44, 60 percent of those aged 45-59 and 80 percent of those aged 60 and over. According to Raml, this means that the mental health of Generation Z is noticeably below the population average. In fact, 15 percent of young people describe their mental health as very poor or poor.
Changing media landscape may contribute to psychological stress on Generation Z
Raml stated that the reasons for the increasing psychological stress on Generation Z cannot be fully determined; He said the changing media landscape could be a contributing factor. HR manager Klaudia Aldjic, who was named the “Next Generation Best Voice” by the LinkedIn platform, explained that people in this generation are “always on” or “digital natives.” Young people have crisis-related information constantly available on their smartphones and “uncertainty and fear of the future.” But Christina Breil from the Institute for Health Promotion and Prevention (IfGP) stressed that there are no studies proving that specific media use causes mental illness.
Providing health information is important
It is important to provide health information that is “quality-assured, easily accessible, user-friendly and specific to the target group,” Breil said. Sandoz CEO Peter Stenico said, “Generation Z is a generation that is very interested in the subject. We must take advantage of this opportunity.” For example, 50 percent of teens find the launch of pharmacy delivery services very important or important, and 80 percent want health data and more at the touch of a button. A few days ago, the government announced the digitalization drive in the healthcare sector and the development of a healthcare application. “It’s important to have one page where everything is stored centrally,” Aldjic said, versus individual “island solutions.”
“The more we sit, the sooner we die”
Doctor Arshang Valipour called for the promotion of health literacy and a healthy lifestyle through prevention programs starting in kindergarten and school. Exercise and healthy nutrition reduce psychological problems, diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer. He briefly summarized it as “The more we sit, the sooner we die.” 150 minutes of exercise per week, regular sleep, and moderate or no alcohol consumption were recommended. Austria is also almost at the bottom of the list in Europe when it comes to smoking cessation programmes. “Work-life balance also has an impact on our psychological health,” Valipour emphasized.