New Research Demonstrates Participation in Coaching Moves the Needle

Research finds that among clients, health coaching offers measurable cost savings, health behavior improvement, risk reduction and high satisfaction

MINNEAPOLIS--()--HealthFitness recently conducted research on wellness program participation and found that technology, although crucially important, is only one piece of the puzzle. Participants are seeking a highly personalized experience. And programs that can offer this personalized experience, along with innovative technology, can attract and keep participants active in the wellness program.

The research demonstrated that among clients, health coaching offers measurable costs savings, health behavior improvement, risk reduction and very high satisfaction as direct results of creating a uniquely personalized experience for participants.

Health coaching presents more opportunities for cost savings
When considering how various components of wellness programs impact medical and pharmacy costs, research demonstrated that, based on the analysis of HealthFitness clients, the 70:30 rule applies to coaching:

  • Overall, 30% of HealthFitness client participants enroll in coaching
  • 70% of cost savings come from coaching participants

HealthFitness clients whose wellness program participants worked with coaches recognized the incremental 6.1% of cost savings:

  • $586 – Average savings per year for coaching participants, or 11.3% of medical costs
  • $261 – Average savings per year for non-coached participants, or 5.2% of medical costs

Coached participants experience greater health impact compared to non-coached wellness program participants
Analysis of HealthFitness clients found coached participants:

  • On average, gained 70% less weight (.24 lbs. for the coached participant compared to .80 lbs. for non-coached participants). That’s over half a pound per year!
  • Among 123,798 total program participants studied as part of our research, nearly 20% (24,472 participants) worked with coaches and on average lost approximately 8 lbs. when also adding whole grains, fruit and vegetables to their diet, participating in strength training and also taking part in the Colorful ChoicesTM six-week challenge, which helps participants make produce a part of their daily diet.

Clients’ program participants are satisfied with coaches
According to a recent client survey, participants value the combination of the experienced, passionate coaches and technological resources HealthFitness provides.

  • 93% are satisfied with their health coach
  • 90% reach their health goals
  • 91% are satisfied with resources, information and tools available online
  • 84% report improved productivity after working with their health coach

When considering how to bring personalization to your wellness program, it’s important to think of how best to match the program with the people,” says Cherie Buraglio, HealthFitness senior director, product management. “A program is comprised of all the different activities, resources, devices, apps and challenges; actions participants take that are part of a wellness program. But it’s the people— especially our coaches—who bring the program to life and provide participants with a personalized experience.”

Coaching participation measurably impacts healthy behaviors
This personalized approach to wellness, made possible through coaches, is leading to measurable changes in participants’ healthy behaviors. A new study demonstrates that participants enrolled via live session stayed in the program longer, had more coaching sessions and, as a result, were more successful in building healthy, sustainable habits.

To learn more about the impact of coaching on healthy behaviors, read Cherie Buraglio’s recent blog post.

About HealthFitness
HealthFitness, a Trustmark company, is an award-winning, URAC and NCQA-accredited provider of health management, corporate fitness and condition management solutions. With more than 40 years of experience, HealthFitness is a proven leader and partner for infusing a culture of health. We maximize client results through personalized interaction and a science-based approach to on-site program management, engagement and prevention. Parent company Trustmark provides a full spectrum of employee benefits to improve well-being through better health and greater financial security. For more information on HealthFitness, visit


Media Contact:
Andy Jacobson, 952-897-5257
Director, Strategic Communications


Media Contact:
Andy Jacobson, 952-897-5257
Director, Strategic Communications