Volume 1, Article 4

Telephone-coaching while walking during COVID-19: A pilot study
Zelda Di Blasi, Stephen Palmer and Julie McCall

Citation: Di Blasi, Z., Palmer, S., & McCall, J. (2021). Telephone-coaching while walking during COVID-19: A pilot study. Journal of Ecopsychology, 1, 4, 1-13. https://joe.nationalwellbeingservice.com/volumes/volume-1-2021/volume-1-article-4

Processing dates: Submitted 10th August 2021; Resubmitted 22nd October 2021; Accepted 29th October 2021; Published: 6th November 2021

Volume 1, Article 4

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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, and most found these to be extremely or very effective at increasing their goals and creativity. The thematic analysis led to the identification of five main themes: (1) enhanced energy; 2) enhanced thinking; 3) enhanced mood; 4) goal setting and 5) feeling supported during covid-19.
Discussion/Conclusion: Telephone walking coaching can be revitalising, mood boosting and effective. In returning to work in the office, hybrid organisations could use walking meetings including telephone walking meetings as an opportunity to increase employee wellbeing, innovation and productivity. Future research should be conducted to examine guidelines for training programmes incorporating coaching outdoors.

Keywords: Coaching; nature telephone-coaching; walking coaching; COVID-19


Dr Zelda Di Blasi PhD is Lecturer in the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork and Chartered
Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. She is the Co-director of a Masters in Positive and Coaching Psychology, Associate Editor of Frontiers in Psychology: Positive Psychology and Consulting Editor of the International Journal of Coaching Psychology.

Prof Stephen Palmer PhD is Professor of Practice at the Wales Academy for Professional Practice and Applied
Research, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Adjunct Professor of Coaching Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark, and Director of the Centre for Coaching, London. He is also Honorary President of the International Society for Coaching Psychology. His professional qualifications include being a Chartered Biologist and Chartered Psychologist. He has written or edited over 50 books and has published over 225 articles.

Julie McCall is a Positive Psychology coach, trainer, and facilitator. She specialises in Positive Leadership,
strengths team development and Positive Psychology. Julie has a Masters in Positive Psychology and is an
accredited Strengths, Emotional Intelligence and Health and Wellness Coach and lectures at University
College Cork on the Masters in Positive and Coaching Psychology Programme.