What is health coaching?

Health coaching is all about educating and empowering individuals to take control of their own health and wellbeing and providing them with the right tools to do so.

It is an evidence-based process that involves conversation, asking questions and using goal setting skills to guide individuals towards making sustainable behavioural changes.

Health coaches help individuals to set goals that are meaningful to them and support them to take the small steps towards achieving and maintaining those goals. Essentially, they are expert motivators, skilled in behavioural change, who help individuals to find and maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle. Which in turn, improves every aspect of their life.

How is coaching different to treatment?

During treatment the individual is often passive in the process, receiving advice and being guided through a path that is set for them. Coaching, on the other hand, is about providing support and empowering the individual to make their own path.

What are the benefits of health coaching?

Health coaching is an effective way of assisting both healthy people, and those with certain common chronic diseases, with a variety of lifestyle health changes, including:

  • weight loss/management
  • stress reduction
  • nutrition
  • physical activity
  • sleep hygiene/fatigue risk management
  • smoking cessation, and
  • alcohol reduction

A study that was conducted in 2017 shows that health coaching can result in improvements; in diverse populations; in multiple biomarker risk factors, including:

  • blood pressure,
  • cholesterol,
  • triglycerides,
  • blood glucose,
  • body weight, and
  • cardiorespiratory fitness.

The study concluded that appropriately designed and implemented health coaching programs are “an important component of the armamentarium of interventions that can be used in the global war against potentially preventable noncommunicable chronic diseases”.[1]

How health coaching works with Healthy Business

Our health coaching programs are integrated with the use of a ‘Check-in’ survey, or in some cases biometric measures such as blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood glucose. This information allows us to identify any areas of concern with an individual’s health and wellbeing and monitor their progress moving forward.

Initial consultations involve discussing an individual’s ‘Check-in’ scores with them to gain more information, help them understand what the results mean, and determine what changes they will benefit from the most. Our health coaches then work with the individual to help them to establish an overall health or lifestyle goal to work towards.

Next, a personalised and structured coaching plan is developed to provide ongoing support, usually over a three-month period. During each session, health coaches support individuals to achieve their goals by:

  • developing action plans,
  • reviewing their progress, and
  • keeping them motivated, on track and accountable.

At the end of a coaching plan, the individual is asked to complete another ‘Check-in’ survey, which allows us to measure their progress and monitor the effectiveness of the program.

Depending on the scope of the program, coaching sessions are done either face-to-face in the workplace or over the phone.

Most importantly, ensure that we provide a confidential, safe, and judge-free environment for individuals to discuss their personal health and wellbeing.

Want to find out how a health coaching program could work for your organisation? Get in touch with us today.

[1] Gordon, Neil F et al. “Clinical Effectiveness of Lifestyle Health Coaching: Case Study of an Evidence-Based Program.” American journal of lifestyle medicine vol. 11,2 153-166. 7 Jul. 2016, doi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6125027

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