Workplace Wellness Fitness Trends

Workplace Wellness Ranks in Global Survey of 2017 Fitness Trends

The ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal has released its 11th Annual Worldwide Survey for Fitness Trends in 2017. While many of the trends cover fitness and exercise, others are specifically relevant for companies that seek to provide a well-run workplace wellness program.

The survey is run by Walter R. Thompson, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research and a tenured Regents’ Professor of Kinesiology and Health (College of Education & Human Development) and in the School of Public Health, and in the Department of Nutrition (Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions) at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

The study states: “The 2017 worldwide survey of fitness trends is now in its 11th consecutive year. It helps the health and fitness industry make critical programming and business decisions. The results are applicable to all four sectors of the health and fitness industry (commercial for-profit clubs, clinical or medical fitness programs, corporate wellness programs, and community-based not-for-profit fitness programs). Although no one can accurately predict the future of any industry, this survey helps to track trends in the field that can assist owners, operators, program directors, and personal trainers with making important business decisions.”

Two of the areas listed in the survey that focus on workplace wellness: No. 15 Wellness coaching and No. 16 Worksite health promotion.

“15. Wellness coaching. Wellness coaching has been in the top 20 since 2010. It was listed at no. 17 in 2014, no. 13 in 2015 and 2016, and now no. 15. Wellness coaching is the integration of behavioral-change science with health promotion, disease prevention, and rehabilitation. Wellness coaching often uses a one-on-one approach similar to a personal trainer, with the coach providing support, guidance, encouragement, and confirmation when short- and long-term goals are reached. The wellness coach focuses on the client’s values, needs, vision, aspirations, and goals. According to the 2017 trends survey (and results from past surveys), it seems as though some personal trainers and other health and fitness professionals are now adopting wellness coaching and its principled techniques of behavior change into their clients’ exercise sessions.”

“16. Worksite health promotion. Many worksite health promotion programs are physically housed within the company or corporation campus although many other programs contract with independent commercial or community-based programs. These programs are designed to improve the health and well-being of employees. Worksite health promotion is a trend for a range of programs and services that evaluate employee health, health care costs, and worker productivity. Once a need is determined, worksite health promotion professionals build programs based on the greatest need (for example, smoking-cessation programs or weight loss programs). Within the context of health care reform in the United States and rising health care costs everywhere, worksite health promotion programs may take on additional importance in the future.”