diabetes workplace wellness

Report Notes Benefits of Remote Coaching in Promoting Physical Activity

Health coaching is often a key — and differentiating — part of any well-run workplace wellness program.

We previously noted a piece from the American Council on Exercise titled “Study Shows Health Coaches Effective in Helping People Lose Weight, Live Healthier Lives.” The post states: “The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the July 26, 2012, online edition of the journal Obesity, demonstrates the important role health coaches can play in helping people lose weight.”

Now a new study notes the combined benefits of remote coaching plus financial incentives — in this case, to help patients after knee surgery.

The study is published in Arthritis Care & Research and is titled “Financial incentives and health coaching to improve physical activity following total knee replacement.” And while the study focused on post-surgery patients, many of the principles are common to those in a well-run workplace wellness program that seeks to keep members active.

The authors are quoted in MedPage Today: “… previously sedentary individuals also require substantial behavior modification to change their post-operative physical activity. With recent moves to shift healthcare financing from paying for volume to value, expenditure of resources to improve physical activity will become increasingly attractive, given that physical activity is among the most important drivers of quality of life in OA (osteoarthritis).”

Of course, health coaching can be a highly-individualized process. We’ve noted that In EBN, Lindsey Bush, an account executive for Gregory & Appel Insurance in Indianapolis emphasizes the point: “It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s one-size-fits-one. We have clients that have biometric screenings with coaching components, for example. We also have a wellness program where employers can get better benefits if they meet certain health requirements and this has a participatory and heath coaching component to the plan.”