Wellness Programs and Health Promotion Plans

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Health Coach.

Wellness incorporates many facets of our daily lives. From the amount of sleep to the water we drink, to the food that we eat and the activity that we maintain, our health is dependent upon many factors of our lifestyle.

Working to improve our wellness may be difficult to achieve on our own. That is why we can utilize the assistance of a health coach.

What’s a health coach?

A health coach is a highly educated specialist who is trained in behavioral change. They hold degrees in Exercise Science, Health Education, Exercise Physiology, Counseling and Education.

A health coach assists individuals in recognizing current health concerns as well as preventing future health related issues. These specialists work with patrons in a variety of ways including; face-to-face, telephone, instant messaging and / or via email.

The latter of those is also referred to as electronic coaching and is the most efficient and cost effective method of working with a health coach.

No matter what method is used for communication a health coach provides a customized program in particular designed to address the needs and concerns of each individual customer.

How can a health coach help me?

Many person maintain a few healthy habits in their lives. One person could  be a fitness enthusiast; another may abstain from alcohol and tobacco; while another might maintain a healthy daily diet.

Notwithstanding, overall wellness is much like a puzzle, and a high level of health is only achieved when each piece of this puzzle is in place. A health coach will assist an individual in correcting his or her missing piece of the puzzle.

An internet based health coach may address the needs of sleep deprivation, stress management, diet, or any number of health related issues. the health coach will motivate, guide, and provide valuable resources to provide clients with the necessary tools to make life changes.

How is a health coach unique?

A health coach serves a distinctly different purpose than a personal trainer, a counselor, or a supportive family member or friend. First, a health coach is an expert in his or her specific field.

When a patron determines the need for a health coach he or she’ll complete a health risk (assessment|appraisal}. Based on this assessment the patron will be assigned a health coach specifically selected to address his or her individual needs.

Next, a health coach is available electronically 24 hours per day. Through online communication clients have the opportunity to consult a health coach as much or as little as he may like.

Communication with a health coach may range from daily to weekly, and can occur by e-mail, journal or a combination of both. In conclusion, a health coach is trained to assist in changing the way that the customer thinks and the way that they view themselves.

A health coach maintains the purpose of assisting the customer to work towards achieving a higher quality in life. This happens by addressing the cause of a certain problem rather than simply addressing the effects of a problem.

A health coach will help person recognize their needs, determine objectives, and take the necessary steps towards achieving these objectives.

While wellness are growing concerns in our daily lives, it might seem challenging to make the time to educate oneself and address the needs or our well being.

Working with the assistance of a health coach empowers us to focus on our specific needs and make progress towards changing.

August 29, 2010   No Comments

Health Coaching.

Do you find it challenging to stay motivated when attempting to make changes to your health? Are you aware that changes must be made in your daily life but you do not know where to begin? If so then wellness coaching might just be the solution you’ve been seeking.

Wellness coaching is a service provided by trained experts who work with you individually to help you reach your wellness objectives. Wellness coaching motivates, guides, and supports individual’s for reach sustainable behavioral changes by offering creative solutions to their problems.

Wellness coaching provides individually designed programs to meet your unique needs by focusing on physical, mental, and emotional health. They help you become proactive in your life by eliminating unhealthy behaviors and making wellness a priority.

Benefits of Wellness Coaching for Your Employees

Employees can benefit  from wellness coaching in a selection of ways. Wellness coaching can help person decrease major health risks in their lives by changing high risk behaviors.

Some of the many reasons why staff members work with wellness coaches are to get in shape, lose weight, reduce stress, quit tobacco use, and develop balance in their lives. Wellness coaches assist individuals with current health problems as well as preventing future health issues.

Because each program that a wellness coach creates is unique to suit the needs of the client, they can be certain that it’ll be a program that is right for them. Many busy staff members mistakenly believe that they don’t have the time for wellness coaching.

Fortunately wellness coaching specialists are able to provide their services in a variety of convenient ways. While electronic coaching through the use of e-mails and instant messaging has become a well-liked method due to its convenience, telephone and face-to-face interactions might also be used.

Workers have the ability to achieve their goals and improve their lives through the assistance of wellness coaching.

Benefits of Wellness Coaching for the Company

The overall benefits of wellness coaching for a corporation are remarkable. Staff Member high risk behaviors such as tobacco use and obesity cost companies millions of dollars every year.

These high risk behaviors often cause preventable disease and keep staff members from coming to work. Wellness coaching guides, supports, hold customers accountable, and ensures that they receive continued motivation to help them achieve their wellness goals and eliminate unhealthful behaviors in their lives.

By beginning wellness programs and using wellness coaching in their organizations, employers reduce the risk of avoidable illness in their organizations.

This improves the overall health of workers, lowers healthcare and insurance costs, lowers absenteeism, and ultimately enhances performance and productivity.

When staff members experience the advantages of higher levels wellness in their lives it causes an improvement in job attitude, energy, and morale.

Corporations that utilize wellness coaching for their employees experience the benefits of higher productivity.

August 28, 2010   No Comments

Gold’s Fitness Center Health Coach.

In today’s fast paced world our busy lives leave little time, energy, or motivation for people  to focus on their own needs.

Those that do seek to improve their wellness traditionally turn to friends, family, professionals and published materials for support and information. All too often those support structures fail to make a lasting difference.

This happens for a number of reasons. Friends and family might not be capable of helping. Working with specialists is time consuming and expensive and very few of us are effective at taking published, generic information and applying it to our own lives.

Gold’s Fitness Center Winston-Salem has created a new web-based program that expands the range of support available to those wishing to make healthful lifestyle changes.

The program, Gold’s Health Club Health Coach, focuses on the daily challenges of making positive lifestyle changes and has the benefits of being more personalized and efficient than generic, published information and less intense and costly than specialist face-to-face counseling.

Utilizing a collaborative problem-solving model the goal isn’t to give advice, but rather to help individuals think through the issues and come to their own conclusions.

The coach offers ideas for consideration, assists the individual generate ideas of their own, assists the individual consider the various ideas, choose a direction, and then supports them in the implementation of their decision.

Challenging the conventional wisdom that relationship formation requires in-person interaction; Gold’s Gym has found that members and coaches are able to build significant relationships via web-based communication.

Utilizing industry leading technology a Gold’s Gym Health Coach can offer members a secure, user-friendly personal website where they can access their coach in a real-time or via email with responses delivered in less than 24 hours.

The site permits coaches to hand pick relevant articles that are written on a consumer level and that are targeted to the issue at hand and add them to a member’s internet based personal library.

The site also contains various programs and tools which are designed to assist the coach and member to set, implement and track specific objectives.

The collaborative relationship formed between member and coach enhances the quality ice and efficiency of service. the familiarity that a coach develops with a member’s circumstances and significant relationships authorizes them over time to more rapidly offer useful ideas and assistance.

With traditional call-in assistance lines, the time intensive exercise of getting background and contextual information is repeated each time. IN that scenario efficiency is lost.

Further, Gold’s Gym Health Coach has created a protocol based on key principals from the field of psychotherapy and behavior modification.

The protocol is embedded within a proprietary problem-solving that is based on the concept that individuals  often act without a good understanding of a problem. Their responses then complicate matters and often make matters worse.

Gold’s Health Club Health Coach offers the opportunity to step back, take a second look at what’s going on, and quickly asses the factors influencing the situation. But, having an idea of “what” to do is very different than actually “doing” something about it.

People  need help with the follow-through. Also, after figuring out “what” to do, Gold’s Gym Health Coach focuses on implementation.

Here Gold’s Gym Health Coach builds on sound research and experience from the field of behavior modification that has to do with goal-setting and with implementation support.

The result is a highly customized, effective, user-friendly way of improving the wellness of an individual. the efficient nature of the online relationship permits Gold’s Fitness Center Health Coach to keep the price point within reach of virtually anyone.

August 27, 2010   No Comments

Measuring Wellness Program Results.

Information to evaluate your program comes from routinely gathered screening and follow-up data of your program that look at process and outcomes of your program.

The Worker Health Program has available a computerized case-management system which includes queries that allow easy assessment of process and outcome results at any point in time.

Process Analysis

Process investigation looks at the program’s impact as seen at various points in time.

Information that is collected from the various forms that wellness employees fill out ought to supply you with the following –

• How many workers were screened?

• How many workers who were referred to a physician went?

• How many employees who expressed interest in health improvement programs went?

• How many staff members who were referred to health betterment programs went?

• How many employees who went to health betterment programs completed them?

• How many staff members are in follow-up caseload?

You can use this type of process examination to evaluate and learn about the health of your program.

Wellness Program Outcome Analysis

A central objective of the program is to improve the health of workers. Information on how to judge how well your program is meeting this objective is called “outcome examination” because you are assessing  the results or outcome of your program.

In wellness programs, objectives are measured by specific (outcomes) behavior changes and reductions in health risk levels. Have workers lowered their blood pressure? Have they lost weight? Are they exercising more? is alcohol consumption at a safe level?

For  instance these are the kinds of questions you can ask to find out if you are reaching your goals –  

• for staff members with high blood pressure (BP) (140 / 90 or higher or on medication) at screening, what percentage have it under control (below 140 / 90) a year later?

• What’s the change in average blood pressure (BP) levels among all staff members with high blood pressure (BP) 1 year after screening? Two years later?

• for employees with high blood cholesterol levels (above 240) at screening, what percentage has lowered their cholesterol to borderline-high levels (200-239)?

• for workers with borderline-high blood cholesterol levels, what percentages have reduced their cholesterol to the desirable range (below 200)?

• What is the change in typical cholesterol levels among all staff members with high and borderline-high blood cholesterol levels 1 year after screening? Two years later?

• for staff members who were overweight at screening, what percentage have lost 20 pounds or more a year later? Ten pounds or more? What is the typical weight loss?

• for workers who were smokers at screening, what percentages have quit use of tobacco? for at least a year?

• for employees whose level of alcohol consumption put them at-risk at screening, what percentage have quit drinking alcohol? Are eating alcohol at levels considered safe by CDC guidelines? Have reduced their drinking, but are still at-risk?

• for employees, what percentages are exercising at least three times a week for at least 20 minutes?

• When fitness levels were measured, what percentages have improved fitness?

Be certain to set a regular time like every 6 months to look at which workers your program is reaching and how effective it is at assisting them reduce their health risks. Use this information to make new decisions about how to direct your program efforts. Then make the change you need to improve your program.

Some may feel that evaluation is a frill; it’s not. Analysis is a necessary part of a wellness program. You’ll need to know what is working and what is not.

Decision-makers who fund the program need to be updated on the performance of the program. Evaluation will provide you with necessary data to maintain and expand the program and convince management to continue to support the program.

August 26, 2010   No Comments

Wellness Program Follow-Up.

The keys to a successful wellness program are persistent one-on-one outreach and follow-up counseling to encourage health improvement, adherence to treatment regimens, changes in lifestyle behaviors, and to prevent relapse.

Periodic outreach and follow-up procedures provide staff members with a safety net which keeps them involved in the program and prevents treatment dropout and relapse.

Counselors should follow up on workers at least every 6 months throughout the career of the employee at the worksite. the goals of follow-up are to –  

• Involve staff members who have health risks in treatment and risk reduction programs.

• Involve all staff members in health improvement programs and worksite-wide wellness activities.

• Support staff members in carrying out the risk reduction or health improvement activities they have chosen.

• Be certain to help workers follow their treatment regimens.

• Avoid relapse.

• Avoid staff members from dropping out.

• Be certain to help workers maintain behavior changes.

Follow-up could be conducted in person, by phone, mail, and via computer when the technology is available. Most preferable is an in-person contact.

Computer programs which may do case load management are available to help counselors track information and perform follow-up.

Priorities for Follow-Up

People  with multiple health risks must be at the top of the list. People  in key positions like union leaders or department heads with health risks should also be contacted early so that they learn what the program is about and can share the information with others.

Individuals  who need a medical investigation for high blood pressure or cholesterol should also be targeted early. Many workers will have seen their physicians so of the screening, but some will need more encouragement to do so. Those with no health risks can be followed up each year.

A follow-up counseling session can take 20 to 45 minutes. at minimum, follow-up must include those who were told to seek medical investigation for high blood pressure readings, high cholesterol readings, or borderline high blood cholesterol readings with 2 or more other risk factors.

It may include those who were identified as at-risk for one or more of the other major risk factors –  at-risk levels of alcohol consumption, being overweight, and having low HDL.

Follow-Up With Physicians

A letter (see forms) ought to be sent to the physician or clinic of each staff member who has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or is under a physician’s care.

The letter ought to explain the program and ought to include the employee’s relevant, current health measurements.

Along with the letter, send a self-addressed return envelope. Follow-up with the physician must be repeated every 6 months until it’s determined that the employee is under satisfactory control.

Contacting the physician is important for three reasons –

• the doctors receive employees’ health measurements taken at the worksite.

• You receive the blood pressure (BP) and cholesterol readings the physician takes and information on the treatment the physician prescribes.

Many times the worker doesn’t have this information or doesn’t remember it. the information may be used when counseling the worker.

• Follow-up encourages doctors to pay closer attention to heart illness risk factors among their patients.

August 25, 2010   No Comments

Wellness Program – Choices Matter.

The menu approach offers employees a range of options to support lifestyle changes. It authorizes individuals  to pick the type of help that suits their schedules and preferences.

The four basic kinds of programs include –

• Courses

• Minigroups

• Guided self help

• Individual counseling

Classes

Courses (8 or more) may be an effective means of providing education and social support for behavior change. the length of a class can vary depending on topic requirements. It is not sufficient to offer only classes at a worksite.

A lot of workers are under time constraints with after work commitments and although they may be interested they simply can’t participate because of their schedules.

Staff Members could  be very eager to start a program but because of lack of participants to meet class quotas, the program is canceled.

A lot of national organizations like the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Weight Watchers, etc. offer classes; you should’ve little trouble in identifying a provider for class type programs.

You may want to contact your local hospital, health department, or YMCA for possible choices. for picking  a vendor to provide a program you may want to review the section on program structure.

Minigroups

When there isn’t enough interest to develop a class, those who are interested in a given health topic could be formed into a minigroup (2 to 7).

The minigroup can cover the same content as a class but do so in a less formal manner. Presentation of information and discussion is the major format of the minigroup.

Guided Self-Help

Most workers do not want formal help in making health changes; they prefer to do it on their own. In guided self-help, the wellness counselors provide support, materials, and encouragement.

Meeting times may be arranged and contact may be made either in individuals, by phone, or computer. Materials may be made available at the worksite, or mailed to the individual. Some worksites now make information available via intranets or the Internet.

Individual Counseling

One of the most successful ways to help individuals change and improve their health status is counseling (or coaching) on a one-on-one basis.

In published studies, wellness programs which incorporated individual counseling as part of the program process achieved significantly higher participation rates and achieved greater risk reduction/risk elimination than standard group programs. Studies have demonstrated that individual counseling is both cost effective and cost beneficial.

A wellness counselor should be trained in screening techniques, for in certain situations, they could be required to both screen individuals and counsel them. They should know how to do the following –  

• Review staff member health risks

• Contact staff members who have health risks.

• Counsel employees on a one-on-one basis, assisting them set goals, solve problems, and get specialist help when they need it.

• Be sure to help employees follow their treatment recommendations and make lifestyle and health behavior changes.

• Recruit employees into health betterment programs, such as weight loss and smoking cessation.

• Be certain to work with employees on a one-on-one basis using guided self-help.

• Conduct classes and minigroups when necessary.

• Make certain to work with wellness committee members to plan and conduct worksite-wide wellness activities.

Wellness counselors are health generalists; they must have basic knowledge about a wide range of health topics and health risks.

Counselors should be able to consult with staff members about their health problems and the treatments prescribed by their physicians.

They should’ve a good overview of nutrition, exercise physiology, pathophysiology of illness, pharmacology, psychology, and behavior change skills.

August 24, 2010   No Comments

Wellness Programs and Stress Management.

The educational program ought to include approaches to stress awareness/reduction at the environmental level and at the individual level.

Social, physical, and organizational stressors ought to be explained and methods to ease or elevate stressors ought to be presented.

At the individual level how changes in attitudes and behaviors help one to cope with stressors; learning techniques to minimize stress response, like meditation, relaxation response, and exercise.

Content of the program ought to provide the following –

• Identifying sources of stress

• Relationship of stress to health

• How the individual experiences stress, personal, family, work

• Solutions for coping and managing stress

• Techniques for reducing stress

• Value of stress, both negative and positive

• Practical steps of incorporating stress reduction into lifestyle

Personnel conducting stress management programs should’ve training in psychology, behavioral sciences, or related disciplines such as mental health professionals, counselors, health educators, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

Training in a reputable program on how to teach the stress management course including group process skills is a must.

August 23, 2010   No Comments

Wellness Programs and Nutrition Education.

A nutrition education program should include a nutritional needs assessment, education counseling, and referral as necessary.

Educational sessions and materials should include the following information –

• the relationship of nutrition and chronic diseases

• Improving eating patterns

• Relationship of nutrition and proper weight maintenance

• Exercise

• Stress

• Blood pressure (BP)

• Cholesterol

• Diabetes and other chronic conditions.

• Nutritionally valid information regarding the relationship of health to diet, including cholesterol, fats, fiber, alcohol, carbohydrates, salt, sugar, and vitamin/mineral supplementation.

Methods for identifying healthier foods and incorporating low-calorie, high nutrient foods into consuming habits. Guidelines for bettering consuming habits should be based on or consisitent with national recommendations like the Food Guide Pyramid.

Instructor must be a registered dietitian, registered nurse, or have a baccalaureate degree or higher in health education with training in nutrition.

When an allied health expert instructs the program, a consultation and review of the program design by a registered dietitian is advised.

August 22, 2010   No Comments

Wellness Programs and Use of tobacco Cessation.   

It’s recommended that use of tobacco cessation programs subscribe to the Code of Practice for Tobacco use Cessation Programs.

Smoking cessation programs ought to be multi-component with a focus on skills to build positive voluntary behavior change practices.

Useful techniques include establishing reasons for quitting, understanding the smoking habit, various techniques for stopping and remaining a non-smoker, overcoming the problems of quitting, short-term goal establishing, weight control, stress management, importance of exercise, relationship of alcohol consumption to urges to smoke. Use no aversive or scare tactics.

In programs that use aids like the “patch” or medications like “Zyban” appropriate consultation should be available on the usage of these aids.

The instructor should’ve formal training in tobacco use cessation from a nationally recognized organization such as American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, or a nationally recognized commercial program such as Smoke Enders.

Investigation of success is sometimes very dubious in smoking cessation programs. Measurement of success should include participation rate, including the number starting the program, the number completing the program, and the average number per session.

Also included, number and percent who stopped smoking at the end of the program, and the number and percent who had not resumed smoking by the end of one year.

August 21, 2010   No Comments

Wellness Programs and Fitness Programs.

Participatory fitness plans ought to include education on benefits of regular exercise and risks of a sedentary lifestyle, its impact on cardiovascular health and diseases, its relationship with weight control and stress management, and aerobic activity choices.

Discussion and practice of safe principles of exercise – warm up, cool down, frequency, intensity, duration, flexibility and strength components. the program follows guidelines by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Safety precautions should include the following –

• Informed consent before beginning exercise with clear and complete written and verbal instructions of possible risk, purpose of exercise, exercise format to be followed, opportunity for questions, and a signed informed consent with date.

• A screening/evaluation of participants to determine if medical evaluation is necessary for exercise such as the Exercise Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q, see forms).

• Measurements of blood pressure (BP) and resting heart rate are useful screening information to determine exercise readiness.

• Participants who fail screening are medically referred and should obtain a written clearance from their doctor to exercise.    

• the basic content of an group fitness program should include –     

Warm up   5 – 10 minutes

Aerobic exercise   20 – 40 minutes

Cool down   5 – 10 minutes

Exercise instructors should have education and training in exercise physiology, physical education, physical therapy or comparable discipline, or possess a current certification by a nationally recognized sports medicine or exercise association, and be CPR certified.   

August 20, 2010   No Comments