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Two out of three (66.2%) online adults use the internet to gather wellness information – and women are significantly more likely than men to do so – 71.7% versus 60.5% – according to a Burst Media survey of nearly 1,700 web users age 18+.

The study sought to understand how consumers research wellness topics online, including fitness, diet, health and beauty.

Among the key findings:

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  • Overall, nutrition information is the most popular wellness topic to research online (38.4%) among US adults.
  • One-third (33.9%) of respondents research wellness information at least once per week and 10.7% search daily.
  • Respondents age 25-34 are the most active consumers of online wellness information; among this segment, 45.9% research at least once per week, and one in six (16.3%) search daily.

Among other findings of the study:

  • Gender, not age, is the largest factor in reliance on online wellness information: High usage by women is fairly consistent among all female age segments, rising from 66.0% among women age 18-24 to 75% among women 55+.

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  • Women 65 years and older are also very active consumers of online wellness information; among them,18.0% say they search daily for online wellness information.
  • Among men, usage of the internet as a wellness resource jumps significantly with respondents 45 years and older.
  • More education = Greater reliance on online wellness resources: Survey respondents with some college and college graduates are significantly more likely than respondents with only a high school education to seek wellness information online – 67.9% vs. 59.5%.
  • Wellness content is king: Commercial wellness/health websites, such as Wellness.com and webMD.com, condition-specific sites, blogs and forums are the most popular resources to turn to for wellness information, with over one-third of respondents utilizing these resources (36.3% and 34.6% of women and men, respectively).
  • Commercial health/wellness websites are particularly popular with women 55+ and respondents reporting household income of $100,000.
  • Other online resources used for gathering wellness information include healthcare-provider websites (27.6%), government websites (27.6%) and corporate websites (18.2%).

“The great thing about the internet has always been the ability for people to seek out niche content, like data on a particular health condition. Advertising and marketing online has lagged behind that consumer behavior,” said Jarvis Coffin, CEO of Burst Media. “The demographic of people that seek wellness information is a marketer’s dream, both from an age, gender and income perspective.”

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