Background: The current pandemic has had serious consequences on mental health due to social isolation and various life-style restrictions. While there are a handful of studies examining the effects of coaching while walking, to our knowledge, there is no research evaluating the experience of being coached on the phone while walking.
Aims: The aim of this study was to look at the experiences of being coached over the phone while walking during the first COVID-19 lockdown.
Methods: In this study we surveyed 9 professionals who received six coaching sessions over the phone while walking during the first lockdown of COVID-19. Coaching was delivered by a qualified coach who also walked while coaching. Each session lasted between one and
one-and-a half hours. Walking sessions were largely conducted in seaside areas.
Results: All participants found the coaching sessions to be either ‘extremely’ or ‘very effective’ at increasing their energy and mood. Most found these to be extremely or very effective at increasing their goals and creativity. The qualitative thematic analysis found that being coached included enhanced energy, thinking, mood, goals and the coaching relationship.
Discussion/Conclusion: Combining telephone coaching with walking in nature is a promising approach to improve mood, energy, clarity, creativity and goal achievement. Our study suggests that telephone walking coaching can be an effective and safe approach to manage a sedentary lifestyle. In returning to work in the office, hybrid organisations could use walking meetings as an opportunity to increase employee wellbeing, innovation and productivity.