233616 Web-based health coaching: A cost-effective option for worksite health promotion

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Robin C. Rager, PhD , Department of Public Health, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Regardless of the quality of the health/fitness activities and facilities offered to them through the workplace, if employees are not motivated to make changes in their lives and take advantage of those resources, very little progress will be made in creating a healthier, more productive workforce. To address this critical motivational element, some companies have turned to web-based health coaching systems for their employees. Through these online platforms, a professionally trained health coach works individually with each employee enrolled in the system to identify personal health risks, determine what changes he or she is ready to make, and define a realistic health/fitness goal that can be accomplished in a set time frame. A multidimensional, individualized behavior change plan is then mapped out for the participant, and consistent follow-up is provided via both passive and real-time interaction between the participant and their coach to help assure the goal is attained. Web-based coaching can be provided at relatively low cost compared to other delivery modes, and is attractive to those who prefer to interact with their coach at their own time discretion, since it is accessible at nearly any hour, anywhere in the world where an employee has Internet access. In this presentation, studies of the effectiveness of health coaching in helping individuals change their behaviors and reduce their risks for illness, chronic disease, and injury will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify elements and characteristics of web-based health coaching programs for employees. 2. Describe the relative effectiveness of online health coaching on participant adherence and health risk behavior change.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have master's and doctoral degrees in Health Education, and over 30 years of experience as a researcher and consultant in the field of worksite health promotion, and have made numerous presentations and published over 20 articles on subjects related to this topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.