Fort Sill pays employees to keep fit

Lawton_Fort Sill has a new program to help get post employees into shape.  The Civilian Health Improvement Program aims to get workers in better physical and mental health - during work hours.

Since Oklahoma is ranked 47th among the 50 states in overall health, we need it more than ever.  The program offers a much needed chance for a break in the workday and a little stress relief.  Teresa Smith not only works at the Honeycutt Fitness Center, she works out there too.

Finding the time used to be a problem for her but now, thanks to the Civilian Health Improvement Program, she's on the treadmill three times per week.  "They really push participation in the exercising just for everybody's welfare, just for keeping healthy and everything," she says.

The program gives employees three extra work hours per week to participate - and get paid for doing so.  Director of Civilian Personnel Advisory Center Denny Kerr says it's a great way to improve health and morale.  Employees don't have to stress about finding time to go to the gym.  "The Theory was, for every hour that it costs us for people to be off the job to do this, we can keep them from being sick, missing many, many more hours of non-productive time that it was just a cheap expense," he says.

And, many of the federal employees love it.  "They like it because they don't have to rush to the facilities, the gym after work.  They have a little bit more time - they don't have to rush to pick up their kids," says Kerr.  The program is in its first trial period but participants say it shouldn't be any problem becoming a permanent fixture at Fort Sill.  "I think the program is working great," Kerr says.

And, this program isn't limited to exercise only.  You can also take advantage of other programs like anger management, substance abuse prevention and smoking cessation classes.

Always remember to get your doctor's permission before beginning any exercise routine.