What is Health Coaching?Health Coaching

You may have heard the term 'health coaching' floating around a lot. Have you ever been confused about what it means or what health coaches do?  Well, hopefully this will help clarify the idea of health coaching for you and give you an insight into what it is that health coaches do.

In 1990 most of the United States had a BMI in the range of 10-14.9%. Twenty-eight years later nearly 38% of the nation is obese and nearly 8% are extremely obese. (2017) As obesity and chronic illness continue to climb, health professionals are recognizing the need to help people change their behaviors to reduce risk factors and increase quality of life. Behavior change can be a daunting and difficult thing to even think about approaching. That's where health coaching comes in. The National Consortium for Credentialing Health and Wellness has provided a well-rounded definition for what health coaching is:

Health and wellness coaches are professionals from diverse backgrounds and education who work with individuals and groups in a client-centered process to facilitate and empower the client to achieve self-determined goals related to health and wellness. Successful coaching takes place when coaches apply clearly defined knowledge and skills so that clients mobilize internal strengths and external resources for sustainable change. (Wolever)

Health coaching is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, a health coach takes the time to listen to an individual's struggles and strive to gain an understanding of where the individual is in their health journey and where they want to be. The health coach then works with the individual to help build meaningful goals. Through continual correspondence the health coach is then able to encourage and help motivate the individual as well as facilitate forward progress.


“Adult Obesity in the United States.” The State of Obesity, Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 31 Aug. 2017.

Wolever, Ruth Q, et al. “A Systematic Review of the Literature on Health and Wellness Coaching.” Global Advances in Health and Medicine, vol. 2, 1 July 2013, pp. 38–57.