Corporate wellness insights

Why Health Coaching Belongs in Diabetes Prevention

Posted by Colleen Sideck, MPH, RDN on 10.24.2018

As health coaches and Registered Dietitians, we’re passionate about guiding employees on the path toward their best life. Whether the goal is creating general wellbeing or managing pre-existing conditions, we meet employees where they’re at and help them uncover the strengths that will get them to where they want to be. When the new National Diabetes Statistics Report was released last year, it became clear that the need for health coaching to prevent and manage chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes, is greater than ever.

By the numbers

An estimated 84 million Americans have prediabetes while 23 million have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Over 7 million more may have type 2 diabetes but be undiagnosed. The average person with diabetes spends 2.3 times more on medical costs, totaling around $16,752 annually. About $9,601 of that is directly associated with diabetes. Diabetes can also impact the workplace, resulting in less productivity and more sick days in those diagnosed.

Why health coaching?

Fortunately, type 2 diabetes can be prevented and managed with the right care and support. Even if you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, it’s not too late to make a difference. Having a health coach on your care team can ensure that you receive the guidance and motivation that you need to create an effective plan for changing health behaviors.

The evidence base on what health coaching can do for type 2 diabetes is quickly growing, and more and more healthcare providers and employers are recognizing the value of adding a health coach to the diabetes care team. In one study, persons with diabetes who worked with a health coach were able to improve their hemoglobin A1c (HgA1c), a measure of blood sugar control, even after coaching sessions ended. In another study, health coaching created a more positive view of health, greater medication adherence, and greater patient activation, meaning that participants reported more knowledge, skills, and confidence in managing their health. Building the healthy habits that support diabetes control won’t happen overnight, but by investing time now, you can save money and shape the life you want to live in the future.

What’s the WCS approach?

Using evidence-based techniques like motivational interviewing and stages of change, WCS health coaches guide participants toward greater accountability, readiness to change, and confidence in their self-management abilities. Everyone has the capacity for success, and we tap into strengths that people already have inside of them to help move them forward. Our Ready-Set-Goal™ method gives employees the one-on-one support that they need to discover where they are now, uncover their vision of where they want to be, and create an ongoing plan to achieve the results that will guide them to greater wellbeing. Two-thirds of all WCS health coaching participants reduce or eliminate at least one health risk factor.

What would it mean to you if you could reduce your risk of diabetes? What would it mean for your employees?  To learn more about what our personalized health coaching can offer to your employees, contact our team below! 

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Colleen is a member of the WCS Health Coaching team. As a Registered Dietitian, she is passionate about our team's ability to guide employees towards sustainable, healthy habits that help them lead their fullest life—inside and outside the workplace.

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