Chamber Insider Blog

Stepping Up Your Step Challenge: Health Coaches & Workplace Wellness

– Written by Jen Wood

Thinking about enrolling in the Annual Healthy Business Challenge and/or implementing a workplace wellness program?

Maybe you’re in the beginning stages and just starting a workplace wellness program – implementing suggested healthy initiatives and ideas from the challenge scorecard like step challenges, smoking cessation programs, or healthy eating workshops.

Or, maybe you already have a well-established wellness program in place and you’re beginning to reap the benefits – your employees appear happier, healthier, and more productive. Maybe you’re even beginning to see a decrease in your health insurance expenses!

Regardless of where you are, congratulations!  Now, how can you sustain and build on your success?  How can you increase the effectiveness of your programs and engage even more employees in health-promoting behaviors?  The answer: Health Coaching.

What is Health Coaching, and how does it work?

Health Coaches are credentialed professionals who specialize in facilitating healthy, lasting behavior change with their clients. They offer a fresh, personalized approach to workplace well-being and can coach employees in many areas including physical activity, nutrition, weight management, stress management, and life satisfaction. 

Health coaches work with employees to identify the behaviors that may have held them back from making real change.  They assist employees in uncovering their inner motivators and drivers for change, linking wellness to what the employee values most.  Tapping into these inner motivators, health coaches partner with employees to create a personalized roadmap for well-being that connects the dots between where they are now and where they want to be with specific, measurable goals and action steps.

Walking side-by-side with employees as they navigate the change process, health coaches provide regular communication, follow-up, and support.  They help employees surmount obstacles, learn from setbacks, and foster the resilience and confidence needed to keep moving forward to achieve their goals (Moore & Tschannen-Moran, 2010).

Health coaching can easily be integrated into any workplace wellness program.  Coaching can be delivered in one-on-one or group sessions at the workplace, online, or over the phone depending on the needs of the employee and employer.

Why include health coaching in a workplace wellness program?

Studies show health coaches can produce real, lasting results for employees and employers.

Coaching has proven to be very effective in managing chronic disease, and improving one’s chances of reaching their health goals.  A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that coaching was significantly better than typical care in achieving:

• Lower total cholesterol
• Lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol)
• Lower blood pressure
• Lower body weight
• Reduced intake of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
• Increased regular walking habits

Another study found that coaching helped to significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. These findings suggest that coaching reduced this risk through the encouragement to increase exercise and improve weight (HealthAdvocate).

What’s the bottom line?

All of this translates to greater savings for employers on health care costs, as well as costs related to absenteeism and turnover of employees who may need time off to manage these conditions. Most importantly, it translates to happier, healthier, engaged employees who are able to lead more fulfilling lives! 

Interested in learning more about health coaching or workplace wellness programs?  Visit  And, don’t forget to enter the 2016 Healthy Business Challenge!

…No matter your company size, YOU can be recognized for your efforts

It’s as easy as 1- 2 and 3…

  1. “Click Here!” 
  2. Enter your information. Complete the scorecard and get great ideas along the way for creating a Healthy Culture within your workplace. Use the 2016 Healthy Business Challenge Resource Guide to quickly and easily implement new ideas!  Once registered, you’ll have time to save your data, implement new ideas, and update your scorecard before submitting on April 29th. 
  3. Review your scorecard, save, and submit!  Celebrate with us at the Annual Healthy Business Challenge Awards Ceremony in June!

About Jen Wood

Jen Wood is the owner of Wood Coaching, a private coaching practice in Loudon Country.  She is the Co-Director of the Health Coaching Certification Programat Georgetown University, and partners with the Wellness Connectionto develop and deliver comprehensive workplace wellness programs.

Want to Learn More?

– Join Our Committee!  The Chamber’s Health & Wellness Committee is a dedicated group of local professionals with a passion for wellness!  We spearhead the Annual Healthy Business Challenge and equip chamber members with important health-related information and valuable wellness resources.  Our goal is to engage employers, convey the importance of wellness in the workplace, and cultivate a thriving, healthy community.  Come see what we’re all about – we meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the chamber office. 

– Be Informed.  Interested in creating a culture of wellness within your company, but not sure where to begin?  Sign up to receive our Healthy Tips & Tricks emails.  You’ll also receive updates for upcoming events, the Healthy Business Challenge, and the latest committee news and happenings.  You can also find us on Facebook and LinkedIn

– Join the Challenge!  The Chamber’s Healthy Business Challenge is for everyone!  No matter your company size, you can be recognized for your wellness efforts!  The award will garner you company exposure on the chamber’s Web site, in eNewsletters, and in local newspapers.  Not to mention, the placard and physical award are great for PR and employee recruitment!  The 2016 Healthy Business Challenge is Now Open – Get your scorecards in before APRIL 29th!