As wellness coaching continues to gain steam as an avenue for sustainable behavior change, so too does research into the efficacy of this approach.

To understand the impact of wellness coaching on behavior change, scientists from the Mayo Clinic recently facilitated a 12-week, in-person, one-on-one coaching program that included 100 employee members of a worksite wellness center. The vast majority of participants were female (90%) and around age 42. They completed questionnaires on health behaviors, eating self-efficacy and goal-setting skills pre- and postintervention.

The employees improved in all areas and 3 months later appeared to have sustained their progress.

The results are promising, the authors said, but further study via randomized controlled trial is needed to determine whether the coaching was truly responsible for the improvements.

This study was published in American Journal of Health Promotion (2016; 30 [6], 458–64).

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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