GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria implemented the fitness and health program for civilians to ensure maximum health and disease prevention for the workforce. Garrison Commander Col. Christopher Danbeck signed the Department of the Army Civilian Fitness and Health Promotion Program policy into effect on Sept. 13.
Subject to governing law, regulation and policy, full-time United States civilian and local national employees may be granted up to three hours of administrative leave per week. It is limited to one hour per day and three hours per week — not to exceed a maximum of 80 hours per calendar year. This includes participation in command-sponsored fitness and health promotion programs, such as physical fitness activities, preventive health events, education on health promotion topics (like nutrition and exercise principles), and any other activities covered by the program.
To enroll in to the program, employees need to assess their fitness program participation with their supervisor. The next step is to sign a written program participation agreement at least annually, or more frequently if deemed appropriate by the supervisor. The fitness times — coordinated with the supervisor — are also part of the agreement. The employee also needs to provide a self-certify that they are not aware of any medical conditions or limitations that would put them at risk of injury or illness while participating in the program. Once complete, both employee and supervisor should retain a copy of the agreement for their records. Lastly, the employee needs to ensure proper timekeeping, because the fitness time is considered administrative leave.
All USAG Bavaria civilian employees, which includes GS employees, local nationals and NAF employees, are eligible to join the program. Employees should ask their supervisor if the mission allows them to join the program.
“This is a good opportunity to keep your body in better shape and increase your personal fitness,” said Hans-Peter Brunner, who works for the garrison S6 Shop. “I joined the Fitness Program, and I feel good after completing my Nordic Walking sessions.”
The administrative fitness time can be taken in conjunction with the employee’s regular lunch break. The time for showering and commuting to the gym is included in the hour.
Employees participating in the program will use garrison fitness facilities to the maximum extent possible. Employees in telework status may join the program. In this case, the supervisors may approve the use of an offsite fitness facility.
Recreational sports — golf, bowling, baseball, softball or basketball — are not authorized within the fitness program. Additionally, it is mandatory that the participating employee report to their workstation before and after each authorized fitness period. The maximum fitness allotment of three individual one hour periods cannot be transferred to the next week, if unused.
Employees serving on a Performance Improvement Plan, who are subject to leave restrictions, or who have been disciplined within the previous year, are ineligible to participate in the program. A supervisor can also deny participation based on workload or mission requirements.
For more information, view the policy and forms here.