Garrison Civilian Wellness Program
The Fort Lee Garrison Civilian Wellness Program provides a holistic approach to health using five pillars of wellness: Physical, Emotional, Social, Spiritual, and Financial.
A healthy lifestyle includes proper diet and exercise. The most nutrient dense foods include vegetables, beans/legumes, fruits, whole grains, and raw nuts and seeds. Fitness training balances five elements of good health: aerobic fitness, muscular fitness, stretching, core exercise, and balance training.
Assess your risks! According to the National Institute of Health, assessment of weight and health risk involves using three key measures:
A weight to height calculation – commonly referred to as Body Mass Index or BMI – can provide an immediate indication of whether a person is underweight, a healthy weight, overweight, or obese; higher BMIs often indicate a higher risk for certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, breathing problems, and certain cancers. For athletes and others with a muscular body shape, a typical BMI calculator may overestimate BMI because the weight factor does not distinguish between muscle and fat. The opposite applies to older persons and others who may have lost muscle.
Waist circumference is another measurement which provides an evaluation of overall health. If majority of mid-section body fat exists around the waist instead of the hips, a person may be at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The risk increases proportionally with increased waist size; in particular, greater risk exists for woman with a 35 inch waist size and men with a 40 inch waist size. Waist circumference should be measured with a tape measure around the middle (just above the hip bones) after a person breathes out.
Along with being overweight or obese, the following conditions will put you at a greater risk for heart disease and other conditions:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol)
- Low HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol)
- High triglycerides
- High blood glucose (sugar)
- Family history of premature heart disease
- Physical inactivity
is the Army Standardized weight management program adopted from the VA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. This program is designed to help DA Civilians lose weight, keep it off and improve their health.
Fitness Classes on Fort Lee
Fort Lee offers a variety of fitness classes at the Clark and MacLaughlin Fitness Centers. Visit the MWR Sports page to access the fitness calendar and view details for each class.
Civilian Fitness Program
Civilians employed by the Army are encouraged to engage in a regular program of exercise and in other positive health habits. Commanders may approve up to three hours of administrative leave per week to engage in physical exercise training provided these activities are an integral part of a total fitness program and time limited to six months in duration. Employees may only participate in the program one time during their civilian career.
Ft Lee Garrison employees:
The ability and desire to live each day to the fullest can indicate emotional fitness. Each day, people have the choice to live with self-awareness, conduct a realistic assessment of their strengths and limitations, manage their feelings, and cope effectively with stress. Emotionally fit people strive to put things in perspective and regulate their emotions and energy levels; negative emotions give insight and positive emotions cultivate resilience.
Improve your emotional wellness! Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) isn’t just for Soldiers. The CSF can help people understand how their emotional reactions to events influence their lives and recognize specific techniques that can help them take control of their emotions before their emotions take control of them.
The Global Assessment Tool (GAT) is a web-based survey instrument used to assess the dimensions of emotional, social, spiritual, and family fitness. The GAT is comprised of 105 questions and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Afterwards, Civilians have access to training modules which may help improve their emotional fitness.
All Department of the Army (DA) civilians and their family members may use the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP provides assistance with life issues which affect their well-being and ability to perform their work duties. Services include counseling, assessments, and referrals to appropriate agencies. Discussions with the EAP coordinator are free and confidential. The EAP also provides training for larger groups on well-being topics such as stress management. Please call (804) 734-9693 to schedule an appointment.
Army Community Services (ACS) offers free classes through its Family Advocacy Program (FAP). Classes range from stress to anger management. Please call (804) 734-6381 for more information.
A victim of sexual assault or domestic violence does not have to face that abuse alone! The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Coordinator (SARC) and the Domestic Abuse Empowerment Program can provide sensitive and confidential care for victims. They maintain 24/7 availability and a wide variety of resources to assist victims. Please call the SARC at (804) 834-0029 or Victim Advocacy Services at (804) 734-6378.
"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." -- Aristotle
People have relationships in multiple areas of their lives: work, home, church, school, community. Social wellness embraces the concept of others before self; by genuinely valuing others, people can create and develop strong friendships, listen and share their needs or feelings, and accept others for who they are. Meaningful relationships can enhance lives and improve the community, environment, and world.
Enjoy the benefits of social wellness! Most people who maintain a positive social support system live stronger, healthier, and happier lives; they communicate and handle stress more effectively. Relationships in different areas can expand life experiences, broaden perspectives, and encourage a balanced life.
Healthy working relationships with co-workers and supervisors can increase quality of life and reduce stress. Team-building activities provide opportunities for members to know and understand each other better. Fort Lee offers facilities and recreational activities where people can establish bonds outside of the workplace yet still enjoy the convenience of being on-post.
Facilities such as the Hideaway and Sports Zone provide casual entertainment with flat screen TVs, pool tables, and food. Recreational activities range from bowling and golf to intramural sports and outdoor recreation. Visit the Fort Lee FMWR website for current hours and information.
Meal times provide a wonderful opportunity for families to spend time together and share their days with each other. Date nights, helping children with homework, and engaging in children’s interest can help strengthen the ties at home.
The Tri-Cities of Virginia contain a wide variety of churches which offer a wealth of opportunities for people to connect and develop meaningful relationships. The Fort Lee Chapel also hosts a diverse services which range from Gospel to Catholic, Hispanic to Samoan, and Protestant to a new, “909” service targeted for the younger population. They also have special events and activities, so follow Fort Lee Religious Activities on Facebook!
Lifelong learning promotes both social and intellectual wellness. The local Tri-Cities area incorporates numerous colleges, some of which also maintain a presence at the Army Education Center on Fort Lee! The Education Center is open to all DA Civilians for numerous services such as taking proctored exams, meeting with college representatives, and informational briefings. Visit the Education Center website for hours, locations, and more information!
Meet people who share your interests outside of work, home, church, and school! Leisure Travel Services provides a one-stop shopping experience for local day trips, tours, discounted passes, hotel reservations, cruise reservations, vacation packages, and travel information. All DoD Civilians can use this office, so take advantage of these resources…and free Wi-Fi!
Holistic wellness includes a spiritual dimension which plays an integral role in a balanced life. External influences, pressures, and stressors can disrupt an individual’s sense of centeredness or create internal conflict. The ability to live in harmony with ourselves and act consistently within our belief system positively impacts spiritual wellness.
Endeavor to enhance spiritual wellness! Different people use different means to improve their spiritual well-being, but frequency and conscious effort increases the likeliness of success.
Relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation can create a healthy balance between the body, mind, and soul. Yoga and meditation can reduce internal stress, anxiety, depression; many different techniques exist. Fort Lee offers a yoga class every Monday and Wednesday from 1810-1930 at MacLaughlin Fitness center; check the MWR Sports Exercise Calendar for the latest schedule. Classes are $2 with a punch card or $4 per class.
Prayer diverts focus away from self. The act of external correspondence may strengthen faith, give hope, and offer a sense of partnership during struggles or celebrations. People engage in various techniques based on their belief systems.
The practice of writing thoughts, ideas, and emotions may help people process and understand their feelings and actions. The reflections can put things in perspective, help identify patterns, and increase self-awareness. People who know and live their life’s purpose may experience greater spiritual wellness.
Reading inspirational material such as books or quotes may help remind people of their core beliefs or desired personal goals. Longer, uninterrupted periods may facilitate concentration and memory.
Deep breathing increases the amount of oxygen into your body which enables a reduction of anxiety levels and tension in the body. The breathing-induced relaxation may also help bring clarity and insights previously smothered by stress.
Financial fitness provides a sense of freedom, independence, and ability to meet personal goals. This area of life can lead to other benefits such as stress reduction, stronger relationships, and the resources to eat healthy foods. The ability to reach financial wellness starts with personal responsibility to manage money in a manner consistent with personal values and priorities.
Take steps towards financial fitness! Identify your financial goals, develop a plan to achieve them, and take action! Many organizations offer free resources online – including the Department of Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service! The WorkLife site contains tips, techniques, and tools relevant to a federal employee – such as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and federal retirement systems.
Financial planning helps people to achieve their goals by creating a systematic approach for them to manage their finances. Creating and following a written budget increases the likelihood of living on less than one makes. Tracking one’s expenditures for a month may help identify money being spent on small items instead of purchases which align with one’s financial goals.
Emergencies happen to everyone and often when they’re least expected; sources range from natural disasters to medical expenses to changes in job statuses. Financial experts usually recommend an emergency fund of three to six months which will help meet these unexpected financial challenges.
Borrowing money increases stress by reducing the control and ownership people have over their circumstances and possessions as the lender dictates the conditions and terms of the loan. Large consumer debt also inhibits the ability to save and build wealth. Thus, debt affects both one’s mental and financial well-being. America Save$ provides tips on how to reduce debts and find help.
In addition to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), Federal employees can participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a retirement plan which matches up to 5% of an employee’s contributions.