Most millennials are concerned about their health but don't feel like they have the time to devote to it, according to a recent survey.
The survey, conducted by health system Novant Health, asked 419 millennials questions about their health and lifestyle. About 66% of respondents reported they would take better care of themselves if they had more time. But the age group also spends a significant amount of time watching TV or using social media.
On average millennials, or people currently aged 18 to 35, watch nearly three hours of TV every day and spend more than two hours a day using social media.
Despite their affinity for social media, millennials are less likely to rely on it for health information. About 63% of millennials will consult a healthcare professional as opposed to 15% who said they use social media.
“This shows us that we have an opportunity to communicate with (millennials) directly about health and wellness and ways they can avoid chronic conditions, now and later in life,” said Jesse Cureton, executive VP and chief consumer officer of Novant Health.
A majority of millennials define quality healthcare as how well they are respected and the effectiveness of their treatment.
But, the age group is less prepared to plan for end-of-life care than other age groups. About 62% reported “they wouldn't know where to start when thinking about end-of-life care.” This was much higher than 28% of baby boomers who agreed.
Millennials are also more likely to think it isn't important to worry about end-of-life planning as opposed to baby boomers. Fifty-one percent of millennials thought it wasn't important compared to 27% of baby boomers.
The age group is also less likely to see a doctor and to not routinely go to a doctor. About 55% of millennials reported seeing a primary care physician on a regular basis as opposed to 84% of baby boomers. “We must educate millennials about the importance of having a primary care provider and scheduling regular healthcare exams,” Cureton said.
Cureton also suggested healthcare providers expand office hours, allow same-day appointments and administer telehealth visits in order to encourage more millennials to regularly consult a physician.
The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based health system was interested in exploring millennials' attitudes towards healthcare because they “make up the largest generation and will eventually become significant consumers of healthcare,” Cureton said.
The findings are part of a larger report from Novant Health that surveyed 2,104 adults ages 18 and up.