ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill --- In response to a command wellness survey and to promote employee health, the Joint Munitions Command (JMC) has instituted the "Working Out at Work" (WOW) Program and set up a training facility within its headquarters building.

"The program and command are dedicated to fostering a healthy and holistic balanced lifestyle, both at home and in the workplace. The WOW program is designed to promote healthy and fit practices through healthy eating, physical fitness, spiritual fulfillment, and a variety of positive health practices," said Teresa Benischek, JMC's wellness coordinator.

Army Regulation 600-63, Army Health Promotion, allows for commands to establish Civilian physical fitness programs. Brig. Gen. Richard B. Dix, Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command and JMC commanding general, directed that a Civilian physical health program be established for the JMC workforce. The initiative was strongly supported by other JMC senior leaders. Benischek said, "Many other organizations have established a Civilian fitness program, but JMC wanted to be more creative with our program."

To compliment the WOW Program, the WOW Training Facility was set up in the JMC headquarters building. The training facility includes two treadmills, three elliptical machines, and three bikes. Also, an area is provided for employees to practice yoga or do floor exercises. The exercise equipment was provided by the Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) Fitness Center.

Currently, there are 30 JMC employees participating in the WOW program. When employees enroll in the program, they are allowed up to three hours of administrative leave each week for six months to participate in fitness and wellness activities. Participants are not limited to the WOW Training Facility. Employees can use the RIA Fitness Center or go outside for a walk/run. Wellness activities include, but are not limited to, health education classes for nutrition, exercise, stress management, weight management, and tobacco cessation.

Employees can sign up for the WOW Program at any time, but are allowed to participate in the program only one time in their federal career.

After those six months have elapsed, Benischek said, "Employees can participate in JMC's Health, Wellness, and Fitness Program which authorizes a break of up to 20 minutes for employees who wish to engage in physical fitness and/or wellness activities. The 20 minute break may be used after the employee's start duty time or in conjunction with the traditional lunch period." All JMC headquarters employees can participate in this program.