Trends

Ambient Wellness

Today, over half of the world lives in urban areas. For all its shortcomings, the city is still the greatest place to live. Easy access to food and culture; an array of public transportation options; a diversity (of all kinds) found nowhere else; and the energy that just doesn’t exist outside of a metropolis.

All that said, though, cities can be tough places to live. They’re noisy, crowded, usually dirty. They can take a toll on our health—mental and physical—without us even noticing.

It’s already hard enough to find the time to take care of ourselves, whether that’s getting to the gym, to yoga or wherever else we work on our physical and mental well-being. And we’re a busy lot.

That leaves a glaring hole for brands to step in and help make our lives a little bit better. Wellness can be best when it’s given to us without us even having to think about it—and so placing physical and mental health benefits into everyday objects and surroundings is just the type of thing that can make us even more loyal to particular brands. This is ambient wellness.

Here in Chicago, we may complain about the lack of sunlight during winter, but we’re nowhere near the gloomy levels of Scandinavia, which can receive up to 20 hours of darkness during the colder months. To combat that severe lack of Vitamin D, Apotek Hj√§rtat, a Swedish pharmacy, added a window to its Stockholm location that radiated light throughout winter. Passersby could stop by the window and catch some faux-rays—giving them a splash of Vitamin D and a nice boost of energy.

Elsewhere in Europe, German energy company Innogy spearheaded an initiative last year regarding its employees, well, energy. During an overhaul of the company’s Prague location, Innogy opted to install an LED lighting system designed to support the circadian rhythms of its workers. Providing different lighting arrangements throughout the day boosted employees’ energy—to an amount roughly equal to that of a cup of coffee.

The city can be draining, with all its potholes and sirens and congestion and pollution. Winter can be draining. Work, of course, can be draining. So give people—whether they’re friends, family, employees or simply passersby—something to make their lives just a little easier. Be their light in the darkness, and you’ll be well thanked for it.

Trends inspired by trendwatching.com/premium