From ALCOAST 079/15:
Maintaining a fit and healthy workforce is vital to mission readiness. A physically fit member has a greater chance of successfully meeting operational requirements, coping with stress, avoiding injuries, and achieving a healthy and satisfying life. The Coast Guard has initiated several studies over the past two years to examine workforce fitness and health. Results indicate that participating in a safe and consistent physical exercise program is the main factor and best course of action to achieve improved fitness.
As such, all Coast Guard members shall adhere to existing Health Promotion policy that requires submission of a Personal Fitness Plan, and 180 minutes per week of dedicated physical fitness activity. The 180 minutes is a minimum requirement authorized during working hours, workload and operations permitting. Members should also take advantage of existing resources within the Coast Guard, such as health coaching services through CG SUPRT and regional health promotion managers for individual fitness and lifestyle improvements. Additionally, physical fitness testing will continue to be mandated for specific operational units e.g., Boat Forces, Deployable Special Forces etc., but will not be implemented Coast Guard-wide.
Background: Unlike the other organizations with large geographic concentrations of members, the Coast Guard has limited capacity and capability to train and proctor fitness tests throughout over 250 ashore and afloat locations. In a limited resource environment, we gain far more by expanding and enforcing our current required fitness activity rather than investing in structure and overhead to properly implement a service-wide mandatory fitness test.
Civilian employees are also a critical component of the Coast Guard workforce and their health and fitness is important to mission readiness. As such, civilian employees may exercise during the workday, up to three hours per week, with supervisors approval and operations and workload permitting. Subsequent concerns led CG-11 to place the civilian workout policy in abeyance until a pilot study could be completed to evaluate the impact on worker productivity and sufficiency of policy guidance.
The pilot assessment to study civilian exercise was subsequently conducted and is now concluded, revealing no appreciable productivity loss. The results of this pilot study, and the responses of a significant majority of employees and supervisors, indicate productivity would likely be unaffected if civilian employees are allowed to participate in voluntary physical exercise programs during the work day. Based on the findings of this study, the abeyance to this policy has been removed, and units are now permitted to authorize civilian general schedule, wage grade, and senior executive service employees work time for voluntary participation in physical fitness activities. Effective no later than March 9, 2015, civilian employees are authorized to participate in physical fitness activities during the work day, up to three hours per week, workload and operations permitting.
Civilian employees requesting to participate in physical activity must follow the guidelines. An additional change to this policy gives commanding officers the authority to: limit the working hours during which fitness activity may be performed to prevent or mitigate disruptions to unit or workgroup efficiency and effectiveness. Exclude participation by incumbents of civilian positions with assigned activities that cannot be paused during designated working hours, without adversely affecting work being performed by other members, employees or work groups due to activity interdependency. Instructions for logging administrative wellness time into WEB TA
Supporting the policy and requirements established in REF A is a leadership responsibility at all levels of the Coast Guard. Growing a culture of fitness and health across the entire workforce, military and civilian, is essential to our mission effectiveness.