CSA Launches New Civilian Fitness and Health Promotion Program with Holistic Approach | Article

Nick Osterhaus, Wellness Program Specialist, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, works out on the treadmill during his civilian fitness and <a class=health promotion program Sept. 28. (Photo by Linda Ottman, G1 Division, CSA.)” data-src=”https://api.army.mil/e2/c/images/2021/10/08/b58137c9/size0-full.jpg”/>

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Nick Osterhaus, Wellness Program Specialist, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, works out on the treadmill during his civilian fitness and health promotion program Sept. 28. (Photo by Linda Ottman, G1 Division, CSA.)
(Photo credit: US Army)


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Nick Osterhaus, Wellness Program Specialist, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, performs strength training during his civilian health and fitness promotion program Sept. 28. (Photo by Linda Ottman, G1 Division, CSA.)
(Photo credit: US Army)


ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – It’s never too late to get in better shape! The new and improved U.S. Army Sustainment Command Civilian Fitness and Health Promotion Program aims to help CSA personnel achieve this goal, through a new integrated holistic approach to wellness.

Following updated Army guidance released in July, the CSA has made some enhancements to the existing CFHPP to provide additional health and fitness opportunities to its workforce in a wide range of areas.

“This is such a step forward,” said Linda Ottman, Program Specialist for Health, Wellbeing and Resilience at ASC.

The new CFHPP policy, signed on July 12 by Major General Chris Mohan, Commanding General of the CSA, has been distributed across the CSA footprint with the goal of improving the health, fitness and quality of life for all CSA civilians, while increasing mission productivity and organizational well-being.

“The old program was limited to a six-month opportunity to use once in your career,” Ottman said. “The new policy changed the program to a continuous, year-round program and applies to both assigned and non-military assigned civilian fund employees, with participation contingent upon approval of the oversight.”

Civilians now have the ability to use up to three hours per week – with a cap of 80 hours – of administrative leave per year to participate in command-supported fitness and health promotion initiatives, including physical fitness activities, holistic health promotion sessions and nutrition education. Classes.

Defense organizational climate surveys, federal employee perspective surveys, and multiple wellness surveys have indicated that the CSA workforce is interested in health information and wellness, as well as strategies for mitigating health issues, according to Ottman.

These results reflect documented workforce needs and help tailor future CSA wellness program initiatives, she said.

“Our mostly sedentary workforce has serious health issues,” Ottman said. “Chronic diseases such as heart disease, asthma, cancer and diabetes are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and account for more than 75% of healthcare expenditures.

“Forty-five percent of Americans have at least one chronic condition, many of which could be prevented, delayed, or alleviated by simple lifestyle changes,” she said. “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that eliminating three risk factors – poor diet, inactivity and smoking – would prevent 80% of heart disease and stroke; 80% of type 2 diabetes; and 40% of cancers.

“Add the pandemic stressors and we have a recipe for an unhealthy workforce,” she added.

Nick Osterhaus, ASC Wellness Program Specialist, began participating in CHFPP in April.

“Coming into the program, my main goal was to be able to stay in shape,” he said. “About a month after I started, I found that the area I had benefited the most from was my mental toughness.”

Osterhaus said having the extra time to hit the gym, put on his headphones and block out whatever was going on in his life — at home or at work — while focusing on his workout really helped him. .

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an unprecedented situation leading to several changes, including the modification of work arrangements for thousands of civilian employees. Over the past 18 months, many employees have had to adapt to new situations and different configurations, including teleworking.

While some have found working from home can easily fit into their daily lives, others have found it affects their health and fitness.

Some people who used to get up and start their working day with simple activities, such as climbing stairs every day or going to meetings in nearby buildings, have found that telecommuting significantly reduces the number steps taken each day, thus reducing the amount of calories burned daily.

Ottman said the improved CFHPP was the boost many needed to get back on track.

“During the month of June, 49 civilian employees participated in CFHPP and they logged 364 hours of physical fitness,” she said. “In August, 156 civilian employees participated in the program and reported 910 fitness hours,” highlighting the 218% increase in participation and the 150% increase in fitness hours in just eight weeks.

Ottman said CFHPP is a great opportunity to improve or maintain a healthy lifestyle and create a better work-life balance. She said she received hundreds of inquiries from employees who were eagerly awaiting the new policy to take effect.

“In previous years, the biggest complaint was the six-month limitation. Now that this has been cancelled, the participation rate is steadily increasing, which shows that the program is appreciated by our employees. »

Overall, the CFHPP aims to provide benefits in the workplace, which results in a physically fit workforce with more energy, better focus for increased work productivity and a reduced absenteeism because, when we feel physically and mentally well, we are more productive and resilient at work, Ottman said.

“I feel great after every session,” Osterhaus said. “I return to my office with my head held high and I can better concentrate on the tasks ahead of me.

“Being able to get away a few times a week to train has actually helped me focus more on my job,” he said. “It benefited me more than I thought it would when I started.”

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