Seven in 10 Americans (72%) treat their health as an “investment,” an asset that will gain value over time.

The survey by Paceline of 2,000 U.S. adults also found the average person would spend $827 more on fitness apparel and equipment this year if they knew they would be in the best shape of their life 20 years from now.

“Our research found that 46% of American adults are spending money on wellness apps or platforms, but many may still see their pursuit of fitness as very separate from their finances,” says Joel Lieginger, founder and CEO, of Paceline in a news release. “At Paceline, we want everyone who invests in their physical health to fully realize its financial value as well, which is why – through our app and credit card – you get rewarded no matter where, when, or how you workout.”

Nutrition, including healthy groceries, topped the list of recent health-related spending, (48%) followed by health and wellness tech, such as apps and fitness wearables (45%).

Among millennials, more than two in five recently invested in their financial wellness (45%) and wellness experiences (41%), including wellness-focused travel. Meanwhile, investing in personal growth, including a career adviser or life coach, was most popular among Gen Z respondents (46%).

The pandemic also shifted how different generations are spending their time and money on health and wellness. Compared to boomers, more millennials plan to increase spending on their financial health in the next year (39% vs. 23%). Gen Zers are ramping up spending on recovery services, such as massages, physical therapy, and acupuncture, with 44% placing this on their radar for the next year compared to 36% before 2019.

Lieginger continued, “Recovery is such an important part of health and wellness; we believe it’s a category people should be rewarded for, and it’s one that we’re seeing cardmembers increasingly spend and get cash back in. 27% of our Gen Z and Millennial cardmembers have made purchases on recovery services, including spa visits, within the last 6 months.”

More than just physical results, Americans see financial rewards, earning potential, social media likes, and their love life as motivators to invest in their health

Survey results showed the average person expects to see results in about three months to feel that their investment in fitness equipment, health tech, or groceries has paid for itself.

While seeing physical results (48%) and earning financial rewards (39%) top the list as incentives to invest in their health and wellness, people would invest more in their health if…

  • It increased their earning potential – by 31%
  • It decreased their hospital bills – by 31%
  • It increased its social media following – by 30%
  • It spiced up their love life – 26%
Gen Z expands the definition of “preventive health”

Results also revealed how different generations define preventive health, as part of their overall health and wellness. Boomers were more likely than other age groups to connect preventive health with check-ups (82%), while millennials linked the term with health or life insurance (57%), and Gen Z defined it as taking care of one’s mental or emotional health (68%). Other ways Gen Z defined preventive health include fitness (67%) and nutrition (54%).

Among all respondents, more than two-thirds (67%) believe it’s cheaper to pay for health and wellness products or services today than to have hospital bills in the future.

“That younger generations are expanding how they think about preventive health is a powerful signal of change to come, because today’s healthcare is – in many ways – sick care,” Lieginger concluded. “We built Paceline to get people moving and proactively keep people healthy. Science shows incentivizing good health behaviors improves health outcomes, which is good for individuals and good for the world.”


The full survey results can be viewed here. This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Paceline between Aug. 11 and Aug. 18, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

Source: Paceline