13 Jun 2024 Spa Business Handbook
 

HOME
VIEW DIGITAL EDITION
CONTENTS
PROFILES
BUY HANDBOOK
JOBS
NEWS
PRODUCTS
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Current issue
Spa Business Handbook
Current issue

View this issue online

View this issue contents
Buy print edition

Download PDF

Previous issues
Spa Business Handbook
2021-2022 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2020-2021 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2019-2020 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2018-2019 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2017-2018 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2016 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2015 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2014 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2013 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2012 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2011 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Spa Business Handbook
2010 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Spa Business Handbook
2009 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Spa Business Handbook - From health to wealth

Industry insights

From health to wealth


Emlyn Brown, global vice president of wellbeing at Accor, takes a look at how wellbeing is set to transform business – and society

Exercise can have a profound effect on wellbeing accor
There is a thirst for wellbeing at all levels Accor
There has been a huge surge in stress, especially in women Accor
Sunlight and fresh air are important for health Accor
Spending time in nature has been shown to improve our mood Accor
Planetary health is connected to personal wellbeing Accor

Health to Wealth by Accor, as a series and white paper, was created to explore the current state of wellness and look at the latest research in the areas of psychological and physiological health and societal structure and to track global shifts, responses, and predictions.

At the core of Health to Wealth is a deeply-felt responsibility to educate, re-align with and explore what matters to people, to connect the dots between the broad universe that is ‘wellness’ today and to cut through and outline the basic principles that can be applied by organisations and groups seeking to place wellbeing of people and planet at the heart of their decision making.

Wellbeing is set to become the transformational driving force in business, society and leadership. From micro to macro, from our personal quest for good health to the way we govern society and the global community, the relevance of wellbeing is set to make an influential and unprecedented impact on the decisions that we make every day.

Wellbeing must now be recognised as a priority for everyone, one of the vital threads which maintains the equilibrium of our lives, our society and our planet. That means reaching into almost every area of our lives – from finance to nutrition, from personal fitness to data privacy – to understand what wellbeing means in that context and to find a way towards its fulfilment. If wellbeing is the destination, then wellness translates to the choices that we all make in the pursuit of that end.

Wellbeing entails both body and mind
Wellbeing means looking after your mental and physical health. The ancient Greeks recognised the connection and believed that mind and body should be in harmony. Today, we also know that physical fitness and exercise can have a powerful impact on our mental wellbeing. There are relationships between mind and body that we are still learning about. Wellbeing cannot be neatly broken down into separate compartments; to nurture ourselves, we need to look after both – including our emotional and spiritual side.

In the UK, a study by University College London identified a huge surge in stress, worst of all among women, where generalised anxiety disorder tripled in those aged 18 to 24 between 2008 and 2018. The WHO reports that global obesity has also tripled since 1975 and that in 2016 more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight. And diabetes caused largely by poor diet is also soaring, with more than one in 10 of the US population now affected.

We need to develop personal strategies to cope with the pace of change, avoid burnout, and navigate the complexities of the 21st century. We need coping mechanisms to help young people deal with social media and all of us to deal with any relationship challenge. And by focusing on the wellbeing of our minds and bodies, we can become more resilient.

Wellbeing for all
It is a simple humanitarian principle that everyone should be equal in terms of the opportunities open to them in life. My contention is that the principle of equal opportunity should be extended to include access to wellbeing. For many, it remains aspirational, but that goal underpins the very notion of wellbeing as a global priority.

The thirst for wellbeing at all levels is evident. Almost four in five of our guests at Accor – 77 per cent globally, irrespective of demographic, age group, or country – are taking daily steps to improve their health and wellbeing. That’s not just within luxury or ultra-luxury, but also in our eco- and mid-scale hotels. Everyone can do this. Everyone can take a step on a daily basis to improve their health and wellbeing. Wellbeing should not be a luxury reserved exclusively for one section of society; it should be democratically open to everyone.

Wellbeing transformation
We’ve all heard about digital transformation, but what the world needs now is for companies to undergo a wellbeing transformation – a re-engineering of culture that places the holistic health of employees, customers, society and the planet at the top of their priorities. It is no longer tenable to operate a business model that causes employee stress, that is exploitative of the local community or that unnecessarily damages the environment.

There are many strands to wellbeing and they are all interconnected. Accor’s own experience in hospitality has shown a strong demand for wellbeing delivery that extends far beyond spa and fitness into areas such as health, nutrition and technology. Organisations need to be agile, adaptable and understand how they are connected to the wider ecosystem. There are powerful reasons why wellbeing should be placed firmly at the centre of their transformation effort. Why would any company not want to embrace and support people transforming to a healthier way of living?

Technology can provide inspiration for wellbeing
Technology has become an enormous source of stress and ill-health in our lives. Yet digital innovation can unlock unparalleled opportunities to improve physical, mental and emotional health in the future; the challenge is to make the impact of technology overwhelmingly positive. We need to forge a new relationship with technology, one in which it works on our behalf to improve our wellbeing, rather than putting our health at risk.

In the case of our physical and mental health, data has a massive potential to aid diagnosis and prevent disease or illness before it develops. There are a great many apps working to support our wellbeing, from meditation and mental health apps to those which support financial health or even building relationships. Digital technology is one of mankind’s greatest inventions – and could provide the solution to many of our greatest challenges. The time for making tech unambiguously a positive force for wellbeing is long overdue.

We can’t be healthy if our planet is not
The environment we inhabit is an intrinsic part of our wellbeing. Sunlight, fresh air and clean water are all prerequisites for physical health; spending time in nature has been shown to improve our mood; and a thriving eco-system provides nutrition and the means to sustain ourselves. But more important than all of these is the health of the Earth itself.

The single biggest threat to our environment is climate change, which has a profound impact on mental health. Among the many possible mental health and psychosocial consequences the WHO identifies are anxiety and depression; helplessness, fear and grief; ideas of self-harm and emerging concepts such as ecological grief and eco-anxiety.

The climate crisis demands an unprecedented response in terms of switching to renewables, using less energy, diverting investment to low-carbon enterprises and in effect transforming our economy. And it has spawned the push towards net zero. Mitigating climate change, conserving our limited resources, and protecting biodiversity are all ways to ensure our planet is sustainable. Without achieving that, wellbeing is an illusion.

Wellbeing is universal
The idea of wellbeing as a framework for how we live our lives has existed since ancient times. Confucius espoused a philosophy of wellbeing based on virtues, sagacity and joy. Socrates reflected deeply on what makes a good life and the end goal of happiness. And in India the Sanskrit Vedas emphasised the merit of living well.

In the 21st century, a growing number of countries around the world have set out to measure wellbeing as a way to inform their policy-making. These include Ecuador, France, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland and Sweden. The bottom line is that wellbeing is the engine that can transform societies and economies around the world: a universal aspiration that needs to be treated as a ubiquitous and cornerstone priority. Our health is not just connected to that of our planet, but to the wellbeing of every one of us.

About the author:
Accor

Emlyn Brown is global vice president of wellbeing for Accor, a leading hospitality group consisting of 5,300 properties throughout 110 countries.


Originally published in Spa Business Handbook 2023 edition

Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | Advertise | © 2024 Cybertrek Ltd