Fort Hood Sentinel
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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2014  02:39:58 AM

Get fit with civilian fitness

Email   Print   Share By Erin Rogers, Sentinel Leisure Editor
March 27, 2014 | Living
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Capt. Lakeisha Jones, CRDAMC, measures Reena Boyd’s height during a pre-assessment for the six-month Employee Wellness and Civilian Fitness Program in the Soldier Development Center. Photo by Erin Rogers, Sentinel Leisure Editor
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Faasala Ale and Sabrina Maiava do two minutes of step-ups at the cardio recovery station during the pre-assessments for the Employee Wellness and Civilian Fitness Program. The step-ups are a measurement of cardio endurance before the program actually begins. Photo by Erin Rogers, Sentinel Leisure Editor
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Lenore Coleman tests her flexibility at the seated stretch station of the pre-assessments for Employee Wellness and Civilian Fitness at the Soldier Development Center. Photo by Erin Rogers, Sentinel Leisure Editor
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Tracy Culpepper follows Faasala Ale’s lead for the seated stretch during the pre-assessments for the Employee Wellness and Civilian Fitness Program. Photo by Erin Rogers, Sentinel Leisure Editor
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Fort Hood civilian employees participate in the different stations of the Employee Wellness and Civilian Fitness Program pre-assessments for their upcoming six weeks of bettering their lives through the Fort Hood program. Photo by Erin Rogers, Sentinel Leisure Editor
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Capt. Lakeisha Jones, CRDAMC, measures Ryan Hernandez’s height during the pre-assessments for the Employee Wellness and Civilian Fitness Program. Photo by Erin Rogers, Sentinel Leisure Editor
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Capt. Lakeisha Jones, CRDAMC, takes Tracy Culpepper’s blood pressure at the Employee Wellness and Civilian Fitness pre-assessments. Photo by Erin Rogers, Sentinel Leisure Editor
Fort Hood’s Employee Wellness and Civilian Fitness Program is kicking off its next round of keeping the Army’s civilian workforce healthy with enrollment beginning April 7.

This program, only a few years old at Fort Hood, is a

commander-led, Armywide, health promotion initiative supported by United States Installation Management Command and Garrison to encourage health across the Army, to include the Army’s civilians.

Michael Berry, Fort Hood Employee Wellness and Civilian Fitness Program manager, said this program improves the entire quality of life for its participants.

“The Employee Wellness and Civilian Fitness Program addresses the five pillars of fitness,” Berry said, listing the pillars as physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual. “It’s a holistic approach to wellness, incorporating fitness, existing wellness classes and health programs available on Fort Hood.”

The program lasts for six months, beginning with enrollment and ending with a post-assessment to gauge how far each participant has come.

“The program allows employees to take three hours off of work, per week, for a six-month period of time in order to work on any type of fitness activities that will improve their fitness and encourage a healthier lifestyle,” Berry explained.

The first step an employee must take to become involved in the program is to sign up with their supervisor.

Berry’s advice for approaching supervisors about this program is to let them know it is a “one-time opportunity that improves not only personal health, but work performance, too.”

They must then submit a packet, which includes a checklist by their supervisor and a medical questionnaire.

Once the employee has signed up and enrolled into the program, they’ll go through a pre-assessment. Program volunteers and professionals from Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center take each participant’s height, weight and blood pressure, followed by a flexibility test and a cardio test – consisting of a two-minute step test to measure heart rate, performance, endurance and overall flexibility.

“This gives people an idea of where they’re starting out, how their health is in the beginning of the program before they’ve even started improving their health,” Berry explained of the pre-assessments. “Then we’re able to compare it along the way – how they’re doing with how they started. We keep track with monthly assessments.”

During the six-month duration of the program, employees have the opportunity to work for three hours per week with different agencies on Fort Hood, mainly the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Workforce Development; the Religious Support Office; and any type of nutritional programs that will help work toward a healthier lifestyle. The monthly assessments allow each person to come in and gain a solid, accurate report of where they’re at on a month-to-month basis.

At the end of the program, everyone enrolled will do a post assessment as well, showing how far they’ve come since beginning the program six months prior.

“The three hours of working out can be done at any time during the week, once it’s coordinated between the employee and their supervisor,” Berry said. “The activities they choose to do have to be conducted on Fort Hood for it to count for the program ... it can include everything from weight lifting, cardio, library, the internet café – any type of spiritual, mental or physical activities that the employee can use to help them become ... healthier in the workforce and improve their quality of life.”

Berry explained that civilian employees are still required to complete their 40-hour work week, and that working out a flexible schedule with supervisors is important.

“We have some (participants) that adjust their schedules to come in a little earlier in the day, or extend their day a little longer in the afternoon – there are a lot of options,” he said.

Berry said the reason why this program is so important is because of the many benefits it provides, including promoting a positive attitude, decreasing risk factors such as heart disease and strokes,

managing stress more efficiently, developing positive lifestyle behaviors, and receiving health and fitness information and education from professionals.

“And they’ll set goals, and see those goals accomplished – that’s a good feeling,” he said, adding, “The more employees work on a healthier lifestyle, the more it benefits them – at work and everywhere in their life.

“It reduces potential injuries at work because they’re working on healthier behaviors. It’s an overall cost-effective program because it can result in less time off for previously sickly employees who are now healthier and have healthier bodies,” he continued.

Those interested in participating should obtain their program packets from their supervisors and go over regulations together. Enrollment is April 7-18.

Call the Fort Hood Workforce Development Office at 287-0516 with any questions.
 
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