Wellness coaching is big business – over two-thirds of American companies and organizations now offer some form of health program to their employees. In addition, individuals are recognizing that they can be more proactive about maintaining and improving their health. So how do you take wellness assessment training, and where can you find a program that offers it?
What is a wellness assessment?
First, it helps to know that there is no standard version of an overall wellness assessment. It can be a part of an overall wellness program that can include evaluation, health improvement, and disease/injury prevention. They are often a part of a corporate health benefits package, because a healthy workforce is more productive and costs less to insure. But they can vary from a quick online questionnaire to a detailed in-person interview.
In general, a wellness assessment looks at an individual’s personal wellness history, lifestyle habits and attitudes. The person giving the assessment makes recommendations that lower health risks, and help their client achieve better health. A medical professional might look at medical risks, like cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugar, and so on. An allied health professional will be more focused on the daily activities, food intake and stress-reducing habits that an individual can adapt for a healthier lifestyle. Often a nutritionist, health coach or counsellor will make contact with a client for assessment and coaching through an Employee Wellness Program. Alternately, a client may see their results from a company-sponsored online assessment and follow up individually.
What does a thorough wellness assessment consist of?
To get the most out of any wellness coaching program, most people need much more information and support than they get in a 10-minute online wellness questionnaire. Those tools have their place at the beginning of a wellness program, but for dedicated wellness coaches, they are only the initial steps in a deeper relationship with a client. To get an excellent overall indication of client health, the assessment should include:
- Diet: How does the client eat on a day-to-day basis? What are their favourite foods? How does stress affect their diet? Do they plan meals ahead, or grab whatever is handy at mealtime? Do they have food sensitivities, allergies or restrictions? Would they be willing to keep a food diary for a week? A wellness coach trained in nutrition would find a wealth of information in a client food diary, and it’s a big step beyond the typical online survey.
- Exercise: How active is the client? What sports, if any, did they enjoy growing up? Are they more of an individual activities person, or do they like being active in a group? Do they have injuries or disabilities that affect what they can do? Wellness coaches trained in fitness will include an in-person physical abilities assessment in this part of the evaluation.
- Stress management: Who does the client count on for emotional/moral support? Do they get angry or upset easily? Have they ever been diagnosed with depression? What activities do they find relaxing or uplifting?
From these foundations, a wellness coach can build a program that is tailored to the individual. And from there, it is easier to set and achieve goals, and cheer clients on to a healthier lifestyle.
Where can you get wellness assessment training?
The Fitness and Nutrition Career Training Programs at WellSpring School of Allied Health are accredited, career-focused programs for adult learners. It features in-depth nutrition coaching as the foundation of an overall wellness plan, and also teaches health and behavior management, stress management, disease prevention, metabolism, business basics, and more.
If you are considering a move into the health and wellness industry, or if you want to enhance your current career and provide more comprehensive support for clients, then WellSpring could be the place for you. You can take a certificate in as few as 9 months, or complete the Associate Degree in under two years.
For more information, contact WellSpring School of Allied Health.