MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Beginning in August, the station is giving its civilian employees the chance to participate in a physical fitness program, according to a new order signed June 15, 2009.
The Civilian Wellness Program will offer the option to take up to three paid work hours for fitness activities per week to civilian government employees, although employees of government contractors are not included.
The station’s Human Resources Department instituted the program as a means of improving employee morale and productivity, as well as the obvious health benefits, said Florence Fitch, station human resources director.
Some of the order’s authorized activities include walking, running, swimming, weight training, aerobics, biking, yoga, organized team sports such as basketball or soccer or any other activity approved by the employee’s supervisor.
However golf, softball and baseball are not included as approved activities for the program, because they are less physically demanding, according to Station Order 12792.1 signed by the station commander.
Attendance of tobacco cessation classes are also authorized under the program.
“We’re going to have a kickoff event once the weather cools down a little bit,” said Fitch. “It will give those interested an opportunity to find out more about the program and get signed up.”
Human resources will also be conducting a survey to see what fitness activities participants might be interested in, in order to possibly form structured workout programs.
“I’m excited about getting started,” said Melanie Visintainegraham, station identification center verifying official, who plans on participating in the program. “I think being in shape and physically active increases stamina in the work place as well, and it definitely improves mental awareness and performance.”
Before civilian employees can participate they must have a physician’s approval, stating they are healthy enough for regular physical activity.
Since the employees are on duty when participating, any related injuries sustained in the program are eligible for coverage by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Program. Any injury should be immediately reported to a supervisor.
Supervisors will be responsible for monitoring the execution of the program and ensure that it is being carried out appropriately, according to the order. Employee participation can be discontinued at any time if misuse is determined.