A wellness coordinator plans and facilitates fitness and nutritional related activities at gyms or other facilities that are designed to help participants gain vibrant health.
The widely publicized rates of obesity and degenerative diseases in the United States have many people jumping on the wellness bandwagon. Science backed studies show that exercise helps with weight loss, improves muscle tone and even heightens mental clarity when performed regularly.
While physical fitness is only part of the wellness equation, it is the primary focus of many wellness coordinators’ work. Here are some of the specific job responsibilities, education and training requirements and career options for wellness coordinators.
Typical Job Duties of Wellness Coordinators
Wellness coordinators assess the physical fitness and overall health of targeted groups of people. After conducting this evaluation, they use available resources to generate customized activities that are designed to produce measurable as well as intangible health improvements. These activities could include hiring high intensity interval training fitness instructors to help condition college student athletes or organizing SCUBA certification classes and underwater excursions for seniors who need low impact resistance training. Wellness coordinators also liaise with registered dietitians and certified nutritionists to educate people about the proper fuel that their bodies need to function optimally. Dietary based activities could include classes about healthy food preparation, clean eating choices and even organic backyard gardening. Many health and wellness clinics have access to scales, body mass index readers and laboratory tests. These resources help wellness coordinators to keep track of individuals’ progress towards their personal wellness goals.
Education and Training for Wellness Coordinators
Wellness coordinators usually have undergraduate degrees in exercise, health or nutritional science, but some have specialized degrees in sports management. Many wellness coordinators opt to gain additional academic credentials to increase their earning potential, and this proves to be a wise move because some jobs in highly sought areas require that wellness coordinators have advanced degrees in their field. Most employers also require some relevant work experience for wellness coordinators who only have undergraduate degrees, and college internships and work study programs often help aspiring wellness coordinators to gain experience even before they graduate.
Specialty Certifications for Wellness Coordinators
Because of the physical nature of wellness coordinators’ jobs, many of their employers require that they have current cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR certification. Besides that important standard credential, some wellness coordinators decide to pursue specialized training and certifications that refresh their knowledge on certain subjects and expose them to new techniques. Wellness coordinators who want to position themselves for jobs in niche areas like senior wellness or alternative healthcare sometimes earn credentials like holistic nutritionist, aquatics instructor or even golf fitness specialist certifications.
Employment Opportunities for Wellness Coordinators
Contrary to popular belief wellness coordinators do not all work at local YMCA gyms. Some of these health professionals who have extensive education and experience are found working at assisted living facilities, corporations, and within government organizations. Any place that has a vested interest in lowering the cost of healthcare through effective preventive health maintenance is likely to hire a wellness coordinator.
People who are passionate about helping others to improve their quality of life often gain the education and experience to become wellness coordinators. While inspiring others to gain better health through their extensive knowledge and expertise, a wellness coordinator also has one of the best chances of maintaining their own health.