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Coaching participation measurably impacts healthy behaviors

By Cherie Buraglio, Executive Director, Product Innovation

We recently conducted research which shows that a personalized approach is needed to drive wellness program participation. According to our survey, almost 75% of wellness program participants say personal touch is important in their health, wellness and fitness program and preferably should come from knowledgeable “live” experts – like our coaches and specialists – who are credible, engaging, easy to access and provide one-on-one support for their specific needs.
 
This personalized approach to wellness, made possible through our coaches, is leading to measurable changes in participants’ healthy behaviors. Additional research found that it starts right from the point of enrollment. We compared participants who enrolled through a health coach via an in-person session with those who self-enrolled. The study demonstrates that participants enrolled via live sessions stayed in the program longer, had more coaching sessions and, as a result, were more successful in building healthy, sustainable habits.
 
Length of coaching enrollment. Participants enrolled by a health coach have a more balanced breakdown of participants being enrolled longer periods of time, with 71.4% remaining in coaching past 3 months compared with 35% of those that self-enrolled.

Completed coaching sessions. More than half (58.5%) of participants that self-enrolled in the program never completed a coaching session, compared by 18.6% in the group enrolled by a health coach completing no coaching sessions. Of those that enrolled via a coach, 79.9% completed at least 1 and a majority completed between 2- 9 coaching sessions, with the largest percentage of completing 2-6 calls (44.5%). In contrast, the group that self-enrolled had less coaching engagement via completed coaching sessions with 89.2% completing less than 4 sessions.
 
 
Completed Coaching Sessions
Enrolled By 0 1-3 4-6 7-9 10-12 13+
Coach 18.6% 44.5% 26.4% 9.0% 1.2% 0.2%
Self 58.6% 30.6% 9.2% 1.5% 0.1% 0.1%
 
 
Behavior change. Our coaches utilize the Overall Wellness Score (OWS) – an aggregate measure of individual employee behaviors including nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress and tobacco and biometric values collected through health assessments. The table below indicates the percentage of participants who improved in their OWS, each behavior category, along with the average improvement for each. In each case, those participants who enrolled by a health coach showed a greater improvement than those participants that self-enrolled.
 
Overall Wellness and Behavior Change by type of enrollment
Category Enrolled Improved Avg Score Improvement
OWS Coach 58.7% 6.0
Self 52.9% 5.7
Nutrition Coach 58.6% 9.5
Self 54.3% 9.2
Physical Activity Coach 55.7% 18.3
Self 54.9% 17.9
Sleep Coach 34.4% 20.7
Self 30.9% 20.9
Stress Coach 27.2% 2.8
Self 26.0% 2.1
Tobacco Coach 9.6% 3.3
Self 7.1% 1.8
 

 
Learn more about health coaching
Please contact us to learn more about health coaching and determine if it’s a right solution for you.
 
About the author:

As Executive Director, Product Innovation, Cherie is charged with driving our product portfolio strategy. With nearly 25 years of experience in public health and the wellness industry, she has worked closely with industry thought leaders and is experienced in assessment development, scoring algorithms, messaging, health management, coaching and reporting tool design. Cherie is a military veteran with degrees in biology, community health education and a master’s degree in adult education.

 

Posted on January 30, 2017 in Coaching