According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 6 out of 10 Americans have at least one chronic illness. These illnesses are America’s leading cause of death and significantly contribute to the Nation’s $4.1 trillion spent on health care costs annually.
The US Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being cited several research studies that suggested that 76% of US workers reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition. 84%of respondents said their workplace conditions had contributed to at least one mental health challenge. 81% of workers reported that they would be looking for workplaces that support mental health in the future. Further, it was noted that workplace well-being can affect productivity and organizational performance.
Evidence also supports that merely providing access to health initiatives and wellness resources is not enough. There has to be clear communication about accessing the programs and ongoing support for health and wellness initiatives to truly affect the physical and mental health of the participants. This is where health and wellness coaching comes in. There is a growing body of evidence, including clinical research, that supports the benefits of health and wellness coaching and the shift to it becoming part of the standard of healthcare (Gordon, N. F., Salmon, R. D., Wright, B. S., Faircloth, G. C., Reid, K. S., & Gordon, T. L., 2016). We are growing in practice because, with the proper training, we are effective at supporting people in changing their lives. Further, governing bodies such as the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches (NBHWC) are working tirelessly to ensure its coaches’ credibility and ongoing education, making us some of the most highly trained coaches on the market. A practice rooted in social learning theory, positive psychology, Transtheoretical Model of Change, Appreciative Inquiry, and Motivational Interviewing, health and wellness coaching has been proven to increase client self-efficacy, sense of autonomy, and self-determination leading to lasting lifestyle changes and improved states of health and wellbeing. Such changes hold the potential for large-scale positive impact, not only on the individual and their quality of life but on the costs to the workplace and their overall productivity.