An evaluation of a comprehensive, incentivized worksite health promotion program with a health coaching component

Ray M. Merrill (Department of Health Science, College of Life Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA)
J. Grant Merrill (Department of Health Science, College of Life Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Publication date: 3 June 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The use of lifestyle coaches in a worksite setting to improve weight, nutrition, physical activity, and smoking behavior among at risk individuals is a relatively new area of research in the field of health promotion. The purpose of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of an accountability-based worksite telephonic health coaching program that incorporates financial incentives, a personal wellness profile (PWP) assessment tool, and biometric testing.

Design/methodology/approach

A retrospective cohort study was conducted based on data from four midsize companies in Utah (USA), 2007-2010. Individuals with high-risk biometric scores were required to work with a health coach.

Findings

Participants had fewer healthcare claims and lower costs than nonparticipants, which became more pronounced over the study period. Health risks and PWP results significantly improved, more so in those in poorer health at baseline that worked with a health coach. Mean difference between health age and potential achievable age significantly decreased, more so for men than women and among those with the greatest need for improvement.

Originality/value

Health coaching effectively improved biometric scores among high-risk individuals and narrowed the difference between current health age and achievable age, more so among those with the greatest health risks at baseline who worked with a health coach.

Keywords

Citation

M. Merrill, R. and Grant Merrill, J. (2014), "An evaluation of a comprehensive, incentivized worksite health promotion program with a health coaching component", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 74-88. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJWHM-10-2012-0027

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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