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The Meaning of Wellness and Altruism – A Case Study

Ujwal Arkalgud, EVP & Group Director at Lux Research

Ujwal Arkalgud

EVP & Group Director, Anthropology

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Jason Partridge photo

Jason Partridge

VP, Client Success

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Welcome to “Why Meaning Matters”—a Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

In this episode of Why Meaning Matters, Erin invites Jason and Ujwal to discuss the results of a report produced from a recent partnership with Nielsen IQ where MotivBase was tasked with decoding the implicit meaning of altruistic purpose when it comes to health and wellness.

What is altruism in the context of wellness? Fundamentally, when it comes to our health and wellness, it’s a human being’s recognition that, for our own betterment, for our own mental health and physiological health, people also need to do things with others in mind.

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In this episode of Why Meaning Matters, Erin invites Jason and Ujwal to discuss the results of a report produced from a recent partnership with Nielsen IQ where MotivBase was tasked with decoding the implicit meaning of altruistic purpose when it comes to health and wellness.

What is altruism in the context of wellness? Fundamentally, when it comes to our health and wellness, it’s a human being’s recognition that, for our own betterment, for our own mental health and physiological health, people also need to do things with others in mind.

Welcome to Why Meaning Matters. A Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

The research in partnership with Nielsen IQ took place in both the US and the UK and the results of the case study might surprise you! The first revelation? Americans are far more altruistic than the British, when it comes to health and wellness.

UJWAL [00:03:13] “I was actually surprised by that, especially given all the, I don’t know, dismal news that we hear every day, right. Coming from the states. I was surprised by that. I think many of our clients are surprised to see that as well.”

Embracing other’s need for health and wellness is becoming more prominent in culture. Take mental health in sport, for example.

JASON [00:05:51] “[Football] is one of the most American of sports. And meanwhile, you’ve got these icons of the sport talking about their full support and starting to reveal themselves issues they’ve had with depression, starting to reveal issues themselves that they’ve had in regards to not having supports back in their day and how we need to change things and how we need to be able to understand and take care of ourselves.”

Made clear by the research study, this is also the case in the context of elderly care, both in the US and the UK, as has been highlighted throughout the pandemic.

UJWAL [00:07:32] “… and that’s part of the altruist purpose is, ‘How do I help the older members of our society thrive?’ Their job isn’t to survive. Our job isn’t to help them survive. Our job is to help them thrive.”

The results of the study showed a clear distinction between the British and American approaches to helping the elderly thrive yet, fundamentally, the meanings are the same.

UJWAL [00:09:22] “In the UK part of it, the consumer just sees their job as just showing up. You know, part of it is, if I have a grandmother in elderly care, I just need to show up. In the US it’s a bit more involved in the sense of, ‘How do I volunteer?’ Maybe I take somebody to the bank because they need to run an errand. Maybe I run errands for them.”

On the thread of living with dignity, for the elderly and other marginalized communities, is the notion of healthy eating for all and improving access to quality food sources.

JASON [00:12:07] “If we don’t solve to help people have access to healthy food it has an impact on the health system. It has an impact on us as a collective and a society. It has an impact on how we get along together. It pulls apart the social bonds that basically are holding us together. So we need to be more aware of these and we need to work better together to solve these problems because it will make my life better as well.”

Next week on Why Meaning Matters, we take a fun, yet serious, side shuffle on the topic of nutrition and turn to that of cows and agriculture.

To read the full report referenced in today’s show click HERE.

Why Meaning Matters is a podcast produced by Story Studio Network and iContact Productions for MotivBase- Decoding implicit meaning behind what people talk about.

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