Coaching Improves Employee Wellness Success Rates

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<strong>Raleigh, N.C. &mdash; March 19</strong><br />Workplace Options, a provider of work-life employee benefits, reports that a recent poll of more than 700 working adults found 76 percent believe it is important that companies offer employees wellness programs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And according to recent studies, pairing personalized coaching with employee wellness initiatives leads to higher success rates.<br /><br />As a result, many of today&#39;s wellness programs, such as Workplace Options&#39; Advantage Live Well, integrate expert coaching with other tools, such as online interactive programs, to better help employees achieve their health and wellness goals.<br /><br />Whether it&#39;s through the telephone, e-mail, instant messaging or online educational resources, employees can access guidance and support from coaches in ways that work best for them. In addition to one-on-one coaching, Advantage Live Well offers employees access to interactive online programs to help them quit smoking, lose weight or improve their overall health. Health assessments, tracking tools, articles, videos and blogs are also available to support employee health and wellness goals.<br /><br />According to Tobacco Control, smokers are twice as likely to stay tobacco free after one year if they have access to telephone coaching. And according to the &ldquo;Cardiovascular Review and Report&rdquo; by Yale University, coaching is a superior strategy in reducing total cholesterol and other coronary risk factors, such as high blood pressure, compared to patients who were prescribed medication but not coached.<br /><br />"We&#39;re finding that employees are much more likely to achieve their health and wellness goals when they have a coach who understands their struggle and who can hold them accountable," said Dean Debnam, chief executive officer of Workplace Options. "More and more employers are recognizing that providing wellness initiatives bring value. But there&#39;s not much value in offering them unless they&#39;re delivering results for employees. Online and telephone coaching are making a big difference in the effectiveness of these programs."<br /><br />The U.S. surgeon general states that 50 percent of this year&#39;s high-cost employees in terms of health care were not in that category last year, and more than 87 percent of health care claims costs are due to an individual&#39;s lifestyle, according to a study by Indiana University. To combat these trends, it is important for companies to consider adopting wellness initiatives that incorporate coaching for maximum results.<br /><br />One health coaching program was able to move 66 percent of participants from a high health risk status to a low risk status for exercise. For weight, the program moved 54 percent of individuals to a low risk status.<br /><br />Advantage Live Well offers employees access to wellness coaches who are trained in a variety of health and wellness specialties. For example, employees can turn to coaches for help with:<br /><br /><ul><li>Weight management.</li><li>Fitness and exercise.</li><li>Nutrition.</li><li>Smoking cessation.</li><li>Self-care of chronic conditions such as back pain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and asthma.</li><li>Menopause.</li><li>Stress management.</li><li>Pre- and postnatal questions.</li></ul><br />"Coaching brings a new philosophy of active and ongoing support of employees&#39; wellness goals," said Alan King, president of Workplace Options. "Maintaining a fitness routine is much easier with the support of a coach. When you&#39;re making a lifestyle change, you need someone who can help you along the way."<br />

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