March 31, 2022
Millions of Americans struggle with stress. The 2022 Stress in America report by the American Psychology Association (APA) showed that the leading sources of stress this year were the rise in prices of everyday items due to inflation, followed by supply chain issues and global uncertainty resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A year ago, APA’s first pandemic anniversary survey found pandemic-related stress was associated with unhealthy weight changes and increased drinking. High levels of stress can also result in anxiety and depression. The most recent APA survey confirmed that these unhealthy behaviors have persisted. Finding ways to manage this stress can improve mental, emotional, and physical health.
In light of Stress Awareness Month observed each April, here are some publicly traded companies offering products and services used to de-stress.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center, adopting better eating habits with a diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a crucial way to de-stress. Fortunately for consumers, there are plenty of companies in this space. Among them is Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (Tii:SFM), a leading healthy grocer, and The Real Good Food Company, Inc. (Tii:RGF), a producer of nutritious comfort foods low in carbohydrates, high in protein, and made from gluten and grain-free natural ingredients.
Catering to those who prefer to let the pros do the bulk of the work is Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. (Tii:APRN). The meal kit service delivers 2–4 chef-designed recipes to the door each week and all the pre-portioned ingredients needed to make the meals. The service also offers a variety of meals suitable for various dietary patterns, including weight watcher-friendly and diabetes-friendly options, uses non-GMO ingredients, hormone-free meats, sustainably sourced seafood, and caters to omnivores and vegetarians alike. Blue Apron expanded its offerings last week by adding a lineup of breakfast options.
The Mayo Clinic also suggests becoming more active to reduce the body’s stress and stimulate the production of endorphins – chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Planet Fitness Inc. (Tii:PLNT) and its more than 2,254 locations are popular destinations for those looking to work off a bit of stress. The fitness center operator, benefiting from consumer trends toward fitness, ended 2021 with 15.2 million members – an increase of 1.7 million since 2020. Those who prefer at-home workouts have a slew of options from which to choose, courtesy of exercise equipment makers Peloton Interactive Inc. (Tii:PTON), Nautilus, Inc. (Tii:NLS), and a host of others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental health is just as important as physical health – and many mental issues can result in a decline in physical well-being. The CDC also reports that 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness each year, and more than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. Fortunately, Americans can find help without leaving their homes. A leader in virtual care, Teladoc Health Inc. (Tii:TDOC) services include primary care, mental health, chronic condition management. Another, Talkspace, Inc. (Tii:TALK) is a leading virtual behavioral health company that offers access to a network of licensed mental health providers through virtual counseling, psychotherapy and psychiatry.
It’s no secret that sleep is a crucial human function that recharges the brain and rests the body. Chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to health problems, from obesity and high blood pressure and increased stress. The APA reports that most Americans would be happier, healthier and safer if they slept an extra 60 to 90 minutes per night. Perhaps that fact contributes to a massive industry that market research provider Statista at $88 billion (including bed linens, pillows, and blankets) and expects to reach $147 billion by 2028). Among the publicly traded competitors in this industry: Purple Innovation Inc. (Tii:PRPL), Sleep Number Corp. (Tii:SNBR), and Tempur Sealy International Inc. (Tii:TPX).
Learning to cope with stress and finding healthy ways to deal with these situations can go a long way toward living a healthy and positive life, according to The American Institute of Stress. These companies are just a handful of available options when looking to improve your mind and body.
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