Essity B 255.4 (-1.2 SEK) on 29-Nov-2022 17:29

Global Essity Study Shows Barriers and Solutions to Future of Well-being

Climate emergencies, threats from pandemics, and other global challenges are changing people's perceptions and focus on hygiene, health and well-being. 

In this article, I wish to focus on the positive change our commitments can bring into the world. Different stakeholders such as policymakers, businesses, and research institutes are working together to develop a healthier future for all. At Essity, our research, products, solutions and educational initiatives contribute to higher hygiene and health standards globally.

Since 2008, we have been doing research on people’s perceptions and behaviors around everyday hygiene and health topics, stigmas and taboos around incontinence and menstruation, and the impact of proper hand hygiene etc. In this year's global Hygiene and Health Survey 2022, we questioned 15,000 participants in 15 countries across Europe, US, Asia and Africa and dived into the barriers and solutions people perceive to improve their future well-being. This research is part of our company purpose ‘Breaking Barriers to Well-being' where we create awareness, educate millions around the importance of hygiene and health, and bring solutions and innovations to the market that help improve people’s daily well-being. 

In our 2022 survey, we address topics like the future of public spaces in relation to hygiene expectations, global health threats, sustainable consumption and the future of care. Here some barriers people pointed out worth highlighting:  

  • 87% of elderly feel uncomfortable about hygiene standards in public restrooms  

  • 36% of people experience barriers to their personal hygiene due to lack of discipline knowledge, time and money.  

  • 23% of people with urine leakage avoid talking to trusted doctors and family 

  • 59% of men believe nothing can be done about pain experienced during menstruation 

On the other hand, people see the following solution areas: 
  • 61% of people believe they are responsible for their own sustainable consumption 

  • 45% say schools can do even more to break down hygiene stigmas and taboos 

  • 50% of people want to learn more what can be done to fight antimicrobial resistance 

On our interactive website you find more key insights from this year’s survey in a nice visual storytelling format, linked to our product and educational pages. You can also download the complete study with all data graphs.  

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Education and awareness around how common incontinence is, what can be done to prevent and/or manage this in a dignified way, and how technology can support are key. People shall feel comfortable around their personal hygiene at home, on the road and in public washrooms, no matter what condition or situation. 

At Essity, our innovations make a big difference in breaking down barriers. Like our TENA change indicator on incontinence pads & products that save time for caregivers and add more control and flexibility to people's daily routines. Our brand JOBST introduces fashionable compression garments that encourage patients with lymphatic diseases to be confident.  

Initiatives from Bodyform to create awareness around period insomnia, people having difficulties with sleeping during their periods, and what can be done about it in terms of diet, products and knowledge are directly affecting people’s health. Our Saba, Tork & Unicef Mexico collaboration educates teenagers of all genders in topics like menstruation and personal hygiene, cultivating inclusive stigma-free societies for future generations.

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Sustainable consumption is an important focus area too. The survey shows that people are willing to adopt more sustainable behaviors, but barriers such as cost, effort, and access for sustainable alternatives must also be addressed. 

Essity innovations like Tork’s hand towel recycling service, Zewa’s tissue products made from wheat straw and Bodyform/TENA/Libero reusable period, incontinence, and baby products to the market so consumers and business can consume more sustainable.  

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There is no doubt that technological advancement has revolutionized our lives with the increase of multi-functional devices. We see this as an opportunity to offer a more personalized and connected healthcare system. Digital health services will expand more into homes, and washrooms of the future will be expected to integrate technology to reduce contact and automate hygiene routines. Our Tork data-driven facility management and virtual reality hand hygiene services are leading examples of how future public spaces must go above and beyond to ensure accessibility and high standards.

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As we move forward, public and personal health and hygiene demands will increase, but we will also increase our efforts to find the barriers and limitations to well-being. Together, we can seek solutions so people can move through everyday life with dignity and confidence. We will continue to revolutionize the consumer goods, health & medical, and professional hygiene industries and contribute to a future where well-being services will be preventive, connected, personalized, and sustainable. Please join us in breaking barriers to well-being. 

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/ Joséphine Edwall-Björklund, Senior Vice President Communications at Essity.

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