Rejecting the pain = gain mentality


It is natural that many of us are keen to return to our pre-pandemic lives but a research initiative1 to uncover the key to living a long, healthy life by studying the places where people live the longest has revealed a series of surprising insights.


People have been spending countless amounts of time, energy, money, and willpower trying to improve their health. By working alongside the Institute for the Future (IFTF), research suggests that a “healthy lifestyle” is about maintaining strong family and community relationships, a sense of purpose and belonging, and a slower pace of life, in which exercise occurs organically throughout the day, stress is addressed with unhurried contemplation, and food is not consumed frantically between appointments.1


Even before COVID-19 people were not living a lifestyle which can lead to a long, healthy life. Stress and loneliness were endemic to life in many countries, and inequality was reaching record highs in wealthy countries.2,3 Now is the time where we should look to implement change.

Health hedonists base

Health Hedonists: Redefining health as happiness, purpose, and comfort


Health hedonists are pioneering a change in the dynamic centered around conventional ways to achieve health.* They aim to make good health effortless by understanding it as a downstream consequence of living a happy and meaningful life, automating anything health-related where possible and relying on health-promoting environments and relationships.*


The health hedonists’ philosophy is to reject the “pain = gain” mentality.* The best way to be healthy, they believe, is to stop trying so hard and focus on feeling good.* From their perspective, the best way to build financial security and resilience is not to work harder in the formal economy but instead to work less, share more, and pool resources with their friends, family, and community.*


While health hedonism rejects many aspects of modern life, it doesn’t have a problem with technology in and of itself.* For example, our suite of personal health products can bring Health Hedonists a comprehensive, dependable picture of their health, meaning that they can focus on what matters most to them.


Finally, health hedonists understand how vital their environments are for shaping health.* They design their spaces for fresh air, natural light, and abundant plant life. Rejecting the trend of exercise programs that pack increasingly concentrated bursts of activity into small time slots, often meant to be done alone, they pool resources to create shared indoor and outdoor spaces that encourage movement and rely on activities like team sports, dancing, walking, crafts, cooking, and gardening to get adequate exercise.


By 2030, not everyone will be living the health-hedonist lifestyle, of course.* But their successes at weathering an increasingly volatile economy and chaotic environmental-related events will prove highly persuasive, not only as a better way to get healthy, but a better way to live, period.


Find out how the other future forces will help shape our future within the Together, Forward report

*Together, Forward report 2021, Institute for the Future

1. Blue Zones, Live Longer, Better,

2. George Fink, Stress: Concepts, Definition and History, 2017, 10.1016/B978-0-12- 809324-5.02208-2.

3. Javaid Iqbal, “Exploring the tragic contemporary global loneliness epidemic, January 21, 2020,

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