There are a lot of articles floating around that attempt to dissect the behaviors and attitudes of millennials—one thing that is certain is the generation’s remarkable dedication to marathon TV sessions. While millennials have a reputation for being super health-conscious, they also log a staggering number of hours in front of the TV. Here’s a list of five health care life hacks for millennials looking to better balance their health and hobbies:
Limit the Netflix binges. It starts out innocently enough—you turn on the first episode of the new season of Orange is the New Black, and six hours later, you look out your window and it’s dark outside. In a recent Novant Health study, Millennials noted they would be healthier if they had more time; however, the same respondents admit they spend a lot of time watching television and engaging on social media. Next time you find yourself bingeing on the newest Netflix series, use the “Are you still watching…?” notification as a cue to get off the couch and get active.
Or don’t! Sometimes a show is just too good to stop watching. If you find yourself on this runaway train, know that all healthy habits don’t have to fly out the window. This is where those multitasking skills come into play. If your primary care physician uses an online health management tool, you can schedule your annual physical or email your doctor in between episodes without missing a beat.
To Tweet or not to Tweet? Does your neck hurt? Of course it does! You just spent an entire day lying on the couch watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with your head propped up on a throw pillow. While nearly two in three adults say that social media is harmful to their health, only 46 percent of millennials use a primary care physician as their primary resource for health information. So while you may be tempted to send out a Tweet asking for “Netflix neck” remedies, know that your doctor is still the best source of health information.
Be prepared. If there’s one thing that Game of Thrones has taught us, it’s that life is unpredictable. One minute you’re partying it up at a wedding, and the next…no spoilers, but we all know what happens. Millennials seem to get this message, with the vast majority believing that end-of-life care planning is important. However, most of us don’t know where to even begin. Talk to your physician at your next appointment about your end-of-life care plan—he or she will have helpful tools to get you started.
Get real. Whether you’re in the mood for McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy or JD and Turk on Scrubs, there is no shortage of TV doctors to choose from. When it comes to thinking about choosing a doctor in real life, use Netflix as inspiration. The gruff, annoyed personality of Dr. House makes for interesting TV, but in reality, doctors need to have a better bedside manner in order to provide the best treatment to patients. Most millennials rank respect as one of the most important aspects of quality care, so keep that in mind when choosing a doctor.
The nationwide survey was conducted online among 2,104 U.S. adults aged 18 and older (including 419 millennials aged 18-35) by Harris Poll on behalf of Novant Health. For the complete research method, including weighting variables and additional subgroup sample sizes, visit NovantHealth.org/ConsumerAttitudes.