More than three in four women (77%) have noticed certain body changes over the past decade, but less than a third (30%) felt “very prepared” for them.
The data from a survey of 2,050 US women shows that millennial (79%) and Gen X (76%) women noticed certain changes to their body over the past 10 years, but Gen Z (74%) and millennials (66%) are the most active generations taking proactive measures with their health.
As women mature in age, three in five (60%) say they are being more proactive about their everyday health concerns, even though women’s needs are unique.
The survey, on the heels of Women’s Health Month, explored some of the most unexpected parts of aging and how women addressed it.
Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by TruBiotics, a probiotic brand that offers a women’s multi-benefit line, the survey found that women are eating healthier foods (34%), taking vitamins or supplements (34%), exercising more (31%) and getting regular check-ups (31%) to help alleviate body changes experienced by aging.
The most common changes varied by generation: A similar amount of Gen Z respondents and millennials cited various bodily changes, including digestive challenges (25% vs. 24%), weakening eyesight (25% vs 21%) and body aches/pains (23% vs. 25%). But while Gen X and Baby Boomers were found to share similar concerns, more Boomers reported body aches (48% vs. 30%) and wrinkles (47% vs. 29%).
While 65% would be willing to share methods that help ease their age-related body changes with others, more than a quarter (28%) strongly agreed they feel/would feel embarrassed to discuss them.
As women age, taking more vitamins and supplements emerges as one of their primary proactive steps to combat everyday health concerns, with 57% of women, including Gen X (57%), Baby Boomers (61%), and millennials (56%), and a substantial 74% of Gen Z opting for this route.
Additionally, more than half of women prioritize getting at least six hours of sleep (55%), exercising regularly (52%), and scheduling more time for relaxation (52%) as other ways to maintain their overall health.
“It’s encouraging to see how women are becoming increasingly more proactive about their health, with supplements being a top priority,” said Mia Syn, registered dietitian, and scientific advisor for TruBiotics. “Filling in nutrient gaps and supporting the body’s microbiomes with probiotics can help women stay their best selves year-round. Encouragingly, nearly 50% of women polled are currently taking probiotics.”
With 80% of women feeling concerned about their internal bodily changes and 74% sharing this sentiment about their external bodily changes, the research also revealed that they aren’t always fully informed about all aspects of their health.
The top three health areas women feel least knowledgeable about are musculoskeletal health (21%), gut or digestive health (18%), and immune health (18%).
Interestingly, women are turning to registered dietitians/integrative health practitioners (40%), online websites like WebMD and Mayo Clinic (40%), and traditional news outlets (37%) to find information on the changes the woman’s body goes through. Most are not dependent on conventional physicians for this information, as only 30% talk to their OB-GYN or general practitioner.
“It’s not surprising to see that women feel least informed about bone, muscle, digestive and immune health due to the complexity of these health topics and the wide availability of different products to address them,” Syn said. “There is a lot of information out there and it can be difficult to navigate.
“When addressing these concerns, women should look for age-appropriate products with the right combination of vitamins, minerals, and other health-supporting ingredients such as probiotics, to support their evolving gut and vaginal microbiomes, maintain bone, hair/skin/nail health, and address other age-related health concerns.”
BODY CHANGES WOMEN HAVE EXPERIENCED WITH AGE
- Body aches/pains- 25%
- Digestive challenges (e.g., constipation, lactose intolerance, etc.) – 24%
- Wrinkles – 23%
- Weight gain – 23%
- Hormonal/libido changes – 22%
- Body aches/pains – 30%
- Weakening eyesight – 30%
- Vaginal dryness – 29%
- Thinning/graying hair – 29%
- Wrinkles – 29%
- Body aches/pains – 48%
- Thinning/graying hair – 48%
- Wrinkles – 47%
- Weakening eyesight – 42%
- Weight gain – 37%