Fitness Coach Connects: Combining physical activity, coaching, and digital tools to support optimal employee health and productivity

Executive summary

With the increasing occurrence of chronic health conditions and the rising costs of poor employee health, employer sponsored programs that use physical activity to drive lifestyle and behaviour change are gaining acceptance as effective health interventions. Add to that the fact that more users than ever are looking for digital solutions to accommodate their fast paced, on-the-go lifestyles, and you get a situation where employers who can find ways to incorporate technology into their health solutions are benefitting from higher employee satisfaction, employee participation, employee health, and returns on their revenue.

One such technology-driven program is Morneau Shepell’s Fitness Coach Connects. Consisting of an online program, a wireless activity tracker (digital pedometer), and three scheduled sessions with a fitness coach, Fitness Coach Connects combines monitoring, 24/7 online support, and real-time feedback to help users meet their fitness goals.

Employers can take advantage of Fitness Coach Connects to:

  • respond to users’ need for accessible, mobile, and technology-driven health intervention;
  • fill the (physical health coaching and support) gap in their employer-sponsored wellness services;
  • help employees understand and improve their physical and mental well-being through behaviour change; and
  • significantly increase employee participation and program completion.

Fitness Coach Connects study

Morneau Shepell examined the pre- and post-aggregate data and survey comments (related to users’ demographics, goals, assessment measures, and overall program experience) from 218 closed cases between June 14, 2013 and January 27, 2014.

Our findings indicate that:

  • the Fitness Coach Connects program successfully attracts and engages new users of EFAP programs;
  • the program responds to users’ demand for easily accessible, 24/7, online health support;
  • a unique combination of a digital pedometer, an online program, and a coach helps users to change their behaviour and meet their fitness goals;
  • the program assists users in improving both their physical health (i.e., increasing activity levels, losing weight, and getting fit) and mental health (i.e., improving sleep, energy levels, mood, and interest in daily activities) while positively impacting personal and work performance; and
  • users of employer offered fitness programs are typically middle age female employees (40 to 50 years old); however, there is an opportunity to engage a new male demographic group of users.

Key considerations when investing in fitness based programs

In response to changes in technology and employees’ evolving needs, employers are now turning to EFAP providers who can deliver counselling services, clinical options, and self-directed tools online, anytime, anywhere. This is especially important in work cultures that incorporate shift work, dispersed workforces, telecommuting, global business travel, and more.

By offering and encouraging access to online fitness programs through an EFAP, you’re investing in your employees’ overall health and their ability to contribute to and support your organization. Morneau Shepell’s Fitness Coach Connects program is a valuable resource that improves employee wellness with its combination of digital pedometer and website to monitor activity, and coaching to provide information, advice, and motivation. When you take the next step in employee wellness, you enable your employees and your business for success.

Morneau Shepell: A leader in EFAPs

Morneau Shepell, under its Shepell brand, is committed to making EFAPs more accessible by continuing to expand and enhance digital delivery methods while maintaining traditional service delivery.

Contact us for more information on our EFAP services and guidance on what makes a successful EFAP:
Call 1.888.667.6328 or email info@morneaushepell.com.

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