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Introducing Health Coaching for the academy

Updated: May 10

“What is health coaching for the academy?”

Over the course of the last few years there is a growing realisation that work home balance is becoming harder and harder to achieve for staff and students working in academia. We all know what we “should” be doing in general terms but there are so many demands on our time and barriers in our way that it’s overwhelming to say the least. Even simply getting the basics done can sometimes be beyond us as workloads escalate, metrics tighten and as the new REF cycle starts and we are already planning how to achieve more next time.

But how do we make the lifestyle changes we know we need to? How do we get our work home balance back in our control rather than letting it steal our health and wellbeing? How do we do the best work of our lives without the process feeling like a punishment? Health coaching is a tool which is accumulating increasingly convincing evidence. In 2000 there were less than 10 studies published on the effectiveness of heath coaching for positive health outcomes mental health and wellbeing, as well as physical health and work-related satisfaction. Now, in the first 6 months of 2021 there are almost 2000 new studies, and more than 100 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) all detailing positive results in empowering different groups of clients and patients to create a better state of overall health through lifestyle change.

In fact, in a 2021 analysis of 35 executive health coaching RCTs Erick de Haan concluded that those receiving coaching in the workplace were 72 % better off than those not receiving coaching. This included positive outcomes in health and wellbeing indicators, such as reduced sickness days and GP visits, to increased enjoyment, creativity and focus at work, increased goal attainment and career satisfaction. Perhaps most interesting of all, these 35 RCTs also reported reduced self-scoring of stress, depression and burn-out. A programme of coaching looking at your life in a holistic way can really help you to find balance and whole health. within the unique parameters of personal circumstances and work commitments.

So, who is a health coach? A health coach is a whole-health professional and expert in behaviour change, partnering with you if you want to make sustainable lifestyle changes to improve your whole-health and wellness. At the core of health coaching there is an understanding that everyone is unique, and each coaching journey takes a holistic lens to consider a wide variety of lifestyle factors which can either support or undermine health. This can include: whether we have purpose and meaning in our lives; what, when and how we eat: whether and how we move, sleep, rest, and play; how we manage stress; the impact of our relationships and social connections; and not least, the nature and quality of the environment in which we live.

The health coaching process enables and empowers you to respond and adapt positively to challenges in your whole life to optimise your health and wellbeing, supporting you to develop the confidence to make conscious, sustainable lifestyle choices and pursue activities that support you to achieve your whole-health potential.

Above all a health coach understands and respects that you are an expert in your own life and remains non-judgemental in supporting, informing, and motivating you to find simple, sustainable ways to break through resistance and overcome self-sabotage in your journey to whole health.

At Fast Track Impact we have developed unique health coaching for people working in academia. Dr Joyce Reed is a fully qualified NHS doctor with more than a decade of clinical experience. She is also a qualified health coach specialising in management of stress, workload, and anxiety to help you find the balance you need to work sustainably throughout your career and avoid stress related illness and burnout. She understands the unique pressure on academics from her experience working as managing director of Fast Track Impact, and works alongside you to find simple, effective, and sustainable lifestyle solutions enabling you to achieve your health and wellbeing goals. Enabling you to find more energy for work and home with changes that last.

If health coaching is something you’d like to hear more about why not press the book now button to arrange a no fee exploratory call with Joyce? Or try one of our Health Resilient Researcher half-day courses run by your university or by signing up to one of our Fast Track Impact courses through your university to find out more at Whichever option you choose, you are making the first step on the journey to better health and wellbeing, and with health coaching, the author of that it you.

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