Civilian Wellness Program

Written by Hospital Commander on 7/23/2012 4:15:49 PM | 15 Comments
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Obesity is an epidemic across the United States, and even within the military community, it is a struggle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 percent of Kentuckians are listed as obese.

Choosing a lifestyle that includes healthy eating habits and regular physical activity can help you avoid weight gain and an increased body mass index. Weight gain can result in higher risks for many chronic diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and some forms of cancer.

As the MEDDAC commander, I support promoting healthy lifestyles – enhancing morale, increasing productivity and employee loyalty, reducing sick leave and increased job and life satisfaction. Physical fitness plays a key role in emotional, physical well-being and strength. The Army supports disease prevention, physical fitness activities, health promotion and retaining quality staff by the establishment of the Civilian Wellness Program.

Army Regulation 600-3 allows civilian employees to volunteer to participate in a duty time activity as mission requirements permit, up to three hours administrative leave weekly. All fitness facilities on post are available free of charge, as well as educational classes in the Health and Wellness Clinic.

Work schedules may be adjusted to permit the educational classes and physical activity of your choice with supervisor approval. With the six-month program, there is a pre- and post-evaluation to observe your progress to becoming a healthier you. This includes, but is not limited to, BMI, blood pressure and resting heart rate.

The Army is making this program accessible to all civilian employees who are willing to improve or change their fitness level. Continuance of your personalized exercise program is dependent on personal measurable success. Fort Knox has given those interested in participating voluntarily the resource and tools to achieve success. All that is required is a personal commitment from you!

Enrollment forms are available and should be returned to the Health and Wellness department. The next program begins in September, but don’t wait – sign up today.


On 8/16/2012 9:27:49 AM, Maggie Beville wrote: Thanks so much for allowing us the priviledge to participate in the Civilian Wellness Program. Being a Diabetes Educator, I know how very important that exercise is for your health and I teach this all the time. However it is not always easy to follow your own teachings. Though I belong to a fitness center in Elizabethtown, I found it very hard to set aside the time I needed to exercise. The Civilian Wellness Program has opened those doors for me and allowed me to complete the exercise that I need to keep me healthy. I thoroughly enjoy the 3 miles, 3 days per week that I walk around this lovely well groomed base. It is great to get outside in the fresh air and enjoy time to myself, rejuvinating me physically and emotionally and allowing me to do my job better. Again, thanks so much for making it easier for me to be healthier, and to be a good example for my patients.

On 8/10/2012 8:43:50 AM, Kim Edge wrote: This program has been an awesome opportunity for me. I suffer from joint problems as well as obesity and having a scheduled time to focus on my health has been wonderful. I have not only lost weight, but I also have noticed improvement in my knee function and haven't had to wear my knee support in a couple of months. As a nurse I know I need to set an example for my patients and several have seen me at the gym and commented that its good to see someone practice what they preach!

On 8/6/2012 2:13:27 PM, Lee Legaspi wrote: Excellent program provided in asisting staff to becoming healthier through fitness. At the start of the program I weighed in at 215.4 lbs with by body fat at 30.91%. After 1 1/2 months my weight now is 204.2 lbs and my body fat is at 24.2%. For my age I should be between 1122% body fat. I am nearing my goal. Thank you COL Maher for supporting this program and thank you Ms. Boswell for your support in getting the program off the ground. Just to let all know I am not able to do 3 hours per week all the time However I find time where I can.

On 8/6/2012 2:02:08 PM, Barbara Boswell wrote: This is the newest data that was published by the NIH and can be seen on the HBO documentary the weight of the nation 1.On the average Americans consume 150300 more calories per day thanthey did 25 years ago 2.Heart disease in the #1 killer in America 3.More than one in three US adults has Heart Disease 4. Being obese or overweight increases a child's risk for asthma as much as 52% 5. Obesity cost employers more than $73 billion annually 6. One quarter of the inflation in health care costs is due to obesity 7. a 20 ounce bottle of soda can contain 17 teaspoons of sugar 8. The National Weight Registry tracked 5,000 who has lost weight of thirty pounds or more and kept it off found a. 78% weighed themselves at least once a week b.78% eat breakfast daily c. 90% exercise daily d. 62% watch fewer than ten hours of TV a week e.98% continue to eat a healthier diet f. 100% say they have a higher quality of life 9.If you lose 10% of your body weight , you need to consume 22% less calories than you were orginally consuming to maintain that new lower weight 10. one in four adults get no exercise at all The bottom line is people who struggle with their weight didnt gain it overnight and cannot expect to lose it overnight but it can be done by the following simple steps start with small steps make realistic goals seek support of others in your program keep portions under control create new eating habits find healthy snacks avoid quick fixes We are given the tools and support of our commander and adminstrators to iniate lifestyle changes ! We will become healthier because of our commander . Thank you Col. Maher .

On 7/31/2012 9:45:30 AM, Bev Allen wrote: Thank you COL Maher for allowing your employees the opportunity to participate in the Civilian Wellness Program. It is a great help to me in keeping me in the habit of working out. My joints feel better and I actually sleep better. Again I appreciate your support of this program and your concern for all your employees health and well being.

On 7/27/2012 9:52:27 AM, Linda M. Marcum wrote: I would like to thank you for offering this EXCELLENT benefit! I have lost 15.2 pounds since beginning this program in May 2012. My doctor said if I exercised on a regular basis and was able to lose the extra weight I was carrying I would alleviate most of my arthritis in my legs. Today I am pain free due to this program I cannot say enough good things about this program and the wonderful personnel in Health & Wellness that run it! It would be greatly appreciated if this program was ongoing instead of six months!

On 7/26/2012 2:52:49 PM, Pete Gay wrote: The Civilian Wellness Program has been a great benfit for me. It is definitely a stress reducer and I have lost 19 pounds and lowered my blood pressure a little more than 20 points on average. I may actually get off BP meds in a month or so. If you get the opportunity try it. A note to supervisors, do not fear this as a time loss, you will see a positive work ethic/attitude change in your healthier employee, resulting in greater producitvity. It is what we make it... Thanks to Ireland for promoting this program and thanks to Ms Boswell for running it!

On 7/25/2012 2:33:43 PM, Jo Ellen mackey wrote: For me there was no better motivation to do the right thing and exercise except pay me for it! What a blessing that is! With an hour off my work day I am never late getting to all those after work errands I have to do as a single mom. Thanks for allowing us to try this awesome program!

On 7/25/2012 11:11:11 AM, Karen Dalton wrote: COL Maher, I would like to thank you for your support of the Civilian Wellness Program. Participating in the program ensures that I will exercise at least three hours a week, which is sometimes hard to do after you work all day and go home. My supervisor has been very accomodating and supportive of our section's participation in the program. I would love the opportunity to continue in the program after the six months.

On 7/25/2012 7:52:59 AM, Lou Ann Whitworth wrote: COL Maher, Thank you for allowing us this opportunity to improve our personal health and wellness by utilizing the Civilian Wellness Program. My Supervisor is very receptive and accomodating and over half of our section is participating! Hopefully, we can continue our participation into the next 6month program beginning in September. Thanks again for your support!

On 7/24/2012 5:19:51 PM, Mark vance wrote: The Civilian Wellness program has been great for me! I feel better 24 hours a day , and feel that I am more productive at my post. I'ts been a great benefit to me, and I encourage others to take advantage of it the next time its offered!

On 7/23/2012 4:27:05 PM, Hospital Commander wrote:

Response to previous comment from a concerned employee:

Riding in a van pool does not allow an employee to leave any earlier than their regularly scheduled end time, in accordance with their normal work schedule. Employees that choose this type of transportation are subject to the same leave and personnel policies as employees that drive to work each day. There is not a policy or a provision that would allow an employee any extra time to catch the van pool. If an employee leaves their workstation prior to their regularly scheduled tour of duty, the supervisor is to charge leave to that employee in increments of 15 minutes. Employees should not be using break time or lunch time to makeup the time that they are leaving early. Breaks and lunches cannot be combined or even used separately in order for an employee to leave work at the end of the day. Unfortunately, Fort Knox has no control over TACK bus schedules and how they are set up. Our employees must adjust their work schedules to TACK bus schedules, so that there is no need to leave their workstation any earlier than their regularly scheduled end time.

On 7/23/2012 4:25:25 PM, IRACH Public Affairs Office wrote:

*Note: This comment was previously posted on an earlier blog. The Commander wanted to post his response here. 

From a concerned employee: I would like to know what is the policy for employees that ride the bus or van. Most employees I know leave early sometimes an hour earlier and always say its due to the bus or van leaving. I do not think it is fair for the ones who do not ride a bus or van and also seems to me like fraud waste and abuse to gov't money. I would like to see this addressed in clinic meetings so everyone will have a clear understanding about the privileges one gets for riding a bus or van.

On 7/23/2012 4:22:04 PM, Hospital Commander wrote:

Response to previous comment from Staff Members:

Our employees are the backbone and infrastructure of our Fort Knox command. I encourage supervisors to make employee wellness a priority and work with employees to make the program a success. Engaging staff in a wellness program is a holistic approach to a healthier lifestyle and builds collective resiliency. Our primary mission is to provide our soldiers, veterans and families with quality service. With that being our utmost priority I encourage each of you to think outside the box and be creative in your plans for exercise. Flexibility is the key to meeting your fitness goals during work hours. Your exercise program is voluntary no matter where you are and what time of day it is. Specialty areas within the MEDDAC have made their own provisions to ensure that fitness is incorporated into their workday. Examples include taking their break room and making it their own workout facility complete with workout videos. Another clinic has a corner where staff jumps rope and lifts weights inbetween patient appointments. The Health and Wellness Department is able to monitor your physical success. We can all succeed in becoming a healthier workforce all it takes is a commitment to better health and fitness.

On 7/23/2012 4:21:14 PM, IRACH Public Affairs Office wrote:

*Note: This comment was previously posted on an earlier blog. Due to the topic of the Commander's blog this week, he wanted to post a response here as well.

Comment from Peggy Noe, Nicholl Fentress, Anne Smart: Please see the attached article from NBC News on 7/10/12 about sitting/sedentary lifestyles. We are required to sit as coders, and it is frowned upon for us to get up and move around when we work the straight shifts. We've been told that our mission does not allow participation in the CWP in the foreseeable future. This affects our health, morale and job satisfaction. Since we are subject to these restriction, are workplace modifications to allow both sitting and standing workstations a possibility? Appreciate your response to this situation. Sit fewer than 3 hours a day, add 2 years to your life, study says MyHealthNewsDailyStaff Americans might live a little longer if they cut back on the amount of time they spend sitting down, a new study says. Reducing the daily average time that people spend sitting to less than three hours would increase the U.S. life expectancy by two years, the study found. And reducing the time spent watching TV to less than 2 hours daily would increase life expectancy by 1.4 years. The study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that sitting itself is deadly. While previous studies have looked at the health risks to the individual, the new study examines the risk of sitting for the whole population, said study researcher Peter Katzmarzyk, of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. Advertise AdChoices The research elevates sedentary behavior as an important risk factor, similar to smoking and obesity, Katzmarzyk said. Other studies have found our culture of sitting may be responsible for about 173,000 cases of cancer each year. Because U.S. adults spend, on average, between 4.5 and five hours a day sitting down, a significant shift in the population's behavior would be needed to have an effect on life expectancy, Katzmarzyk said. This might be achieved through changes at the workplace, such as the use of standing desks, and by watching less TV, he said. Katzmarzyk and colleagues analyzed information from five earlier studies involving more than 167,000 adults that looked at the link between sitting and risk of dying from any cause over the next four to 14 years. The researchers also collected information from U.S. surveys conducted during 20052006 and 20092010, to calculate the amount of time Americans spent watching TV and sitting down daily. About 27 percent of deaths in the studies could be attributed to sitting, and 19 percent to television viewing, the researchers said. The study adds to the evidence suggesting that in addition to being concerned about physical activity behaviors, we need to be concerned also about sedentary behaviors, said Mark Tremblay, a director of research at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, who was not involved in the study. Because so many people sit for prolonged periods, the effect on the overall population is substantial, Tremblay said. The researchers noted their study assumed a cause effect link between sedentary behavior and risk of dying, which further research should validate, they said. In addition, the study relied on participants' own reports of sitting and TV watching time, which may not be entirely accurate. The study is published online Monday in the journal BMJ Open.