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New MDS Program helps Airmen get in shape

62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Published: 10:41AM January 14th, 2016

Fitness and activity trackers, such as Fitbits and Garmin Connects, have been becoming very popular among those in the fitness industry, and have become a useful tool for individuals trying to lose weight.

These trackers have capabilities which include tracking physical activity and steps, heart rate, quality and quantity of sleep and provide tools to track food and water consumption.

To utilize these tools in conjunction with a health improvement program to help Airmen who are not successful on their fitness examinations, Dr. Danielle Knutson, 62nd Medical Squadron health promotion coordinator, brought this program to McChord Field.

“This program helps support the Air Force Health Promotion Mission: health promotion will coordinate, evaluate, and promote installation-specific, evidence-based interventions that support healthy behavior change to optimize health and resilience in Air Force communities,” Knutson said.

The program, led by Knutson, began in 2014. So far, 125 Airmen at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, have participated in the 90-day program, which is currently able to support 75 participants.

The program is only offered to Airmen who have not been successful on their fitness tests and Airmen who are struggling to maintain fitness standards.

Airmen who are unsuccessful on their fitness tests are directed to sign up, and struggling Airmen may request to sign up through their Unit Fitness Program Manager and commander for the mandatory BE WELL Health Improvement Program.

More and more units on McChord Field and starting to use this 90-day program.

“Other squadrons and units are taking advantage of this technology, and that is outstanding,” Knutson said. “My advice is to utilize a person who can keep the fitness challenges fun and exciting but also utilize the JBLM services such as Performance Triad, Jensen Family Health and Fitness Center, 62nd MDS Health Promotions, BHOP, and Madigan Nutrition Clinic to help support the members’ health and wellness goals.”

For more information on this program at McChord Field, contact Knutson, at 253-982-6947.