Is ‘health’ the new ‘wealth’?

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What do you chase when you have everything?

When you have the homes, the luxury vehicles, the walk-in wardrobe, the stocks and the great stories of the trips you went on spanning continents and cultures.

In the 1980s, the item that showed your wealth was a gas-guzzling high performance vehicle or carefully crafted Swiss watch embedded with diamonds. In the 1990s, the digital age meant that the must-have items were the latest mobile phones and lap tops that shouted 'you have made it' whenever they were brought out at work or used at a social event.

The new millennium brought with it global warming and the fight against terrorism and suddenly gas-guzzlers and blood diamonds were seen as environmentally unkind and irresponsible to buy and/or flaunt. What was cool became re-using, re-inventing and uncovering vintage finds. The emphasis was on expressing individuality and uncovering craftmanship.

And then, we hit the teens, and again there was a shift. The use of clothing and accessories to show off one's wealth became tacky and lush fabrics, bright colours and sky-high heels lost their lustre to demure neutrals, androgenous cuts and limited edition sneakers.

Fashion that focused on fitness and products that promised the attainment of 'health' became best-sellers. Activewear that was previously worn only inside a gym, became aspirational daywear and weekend wear. Products that tracked fitness and proved one's commitment to getting and staying fit were no longer kept in a drawer or gym bag but worn throughout the day and even paraded at fancy events.

So it seems that 'health' is the new measure of 'wealth' and that this trend is unlikely to end any time soon. I, for one, am glad if this trend can heal rather than harm.

After all, what's wealth without health anyway? Can happiness be attained without either?

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