The Bayonet

Tuesday, Jun. 03, 2014

Employees hope for wellness program return

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More than a year after the Installation Management Command Enterprise-Wide Metrics Collection program ended, Kimberly Adams remains committed to maintaining her personal fitness even though she's had to work harder to fit into her schedule.

From October 2012 to April of this year, IMCOM employees were allowed to request one hour during the duty day three days a week from their supervisor to do some type of physical fitness activity and Adams was one of the 120 IMCOM employees at Fort Benning who chose to participate in the program.

Adams said she reached her initial goal of losing 13 pounds during the six-month program and has lost another 12 pounds by continuing to monitor her caloric intake and balance that with the calories burned during her workouts.

"Three days per week I incorporated 30 minutes before and after my scheduled lunch break to attend one-hour fitness classes at Smith Gym," said Adams who works in the G-3 office at McGinnis-Wickam Hall. "My supervisor was very supportive with my participation in the program."

John Grantham, who works in Training Support Center at Fort Benning and also has continued fitting in workouts during the duty day as much as possible, said he had four goals when he started the program. "Lower my blood pressure. Lower my cholesterol. Give my body more flexibility. Have more energy," Grantham said. "I accomplished all of those."

Although it's been more of a challenge without having an hour during the duty day three times a week, Grantham said he still manages to find time to exercise at least three times a week.

Both Adams and Grantham said they have noticed a drop in the number of employees exercising during the duty day since the program ended but Adams added, "I still see people walking the halls during their breaks and lunch."

Adams and Grantham both expressed a desire to see the program's existing restrictions be lifted because of its success.

Adams' supervisor, Glenda Oliver, chief of force management, DPTMS/G-3, said Adams was able to fit the workouts into her schedule and even inspired her to exercise more herself.

"My initial challenge was insuring that participating in the program did not interfere with performing daily duties associated with her job," Oliver said. "We were able to adjust her duty hours with no impact on the mission."

During the course of the program, Oliver said she noticed that Adams was a more energetic and productive employee, whose enthusiasm was contagious throughout the office.

Oliver added that overall the program is a good one and that she highly recommends it.

"My advice to other supervisors is to allow their employees to participate in the program because it is a win-win situation for both the employee and the Army," she said.

"As supervisors, showing that we care about our employees and allowing them the time to maintain or improve their health makes for a more productive workforce of confident and motivated civilian employees as they support the Army mission."

In his final report on the results of the program, Fort Benning Directorate of Human Activities program manager Brian Smith wrote, "I'm certain this effort has inspired many of our employees while increasing their resilience. Resilient and inspired employees provide higher levels of service for our Soldiers and Family members and are better able to sustain higher levels of service."

Even with the challenges, caveats and concerns associated with the implementation of the program, Smith wrote, "The facts and testimony verify, 'The juice is worth the squeeze.'"

The program's success has resulted in an overall positive endorsement from top to bottom to remove the one-time and six-month restriction, he wrote.

When asked about when the existing regulation, AR-600-63, might be changed to lift the program's current restrictions, Smith referred to the April 11, 2014 IMCOM G-1 Update, which states, "Civilian Fitness Program Policy Change. Prior to change of command, LTG Ferriter and LTG Horoho jointly endorsed a memo supporting change of AR 600-63 (Army Health Promotion). The change would allow Army Civilians to permanently enroll in the Civilian Fitness Program. We will begin working with ASA (M&RA) and Army G1 later this month to ensure policy issues are identified/clarified with current intent to present the issue at the June SICE Board."

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