Staying Prepared: Wellness at the CIA
Work at the CIA can be physically and mentally demanding. Whether writing for The President’s Daily Brief, holding a clandestine meeting, or working on detailed payroll information, Agency employees must be fit for whatever comes their way.
That’s why the CIA supports employees meet their personal health and fitness goals. Since its inception in early 2012, Find Your Fit campaignhas empowered Agency officers across the organization to optimize their personal wellness and initiate fitness ideas that better prepare CIA employees to meet their professional demands.
Helping to Change CIA Culture
Find Your Fit sponsors a variety of events at CIA Headquarters, including fitness expos, expert panel discussions, workout workshops and culinary demonstrations.“People are enabled to initiate fitness ideas because of the CIA’s organizational interest in wellness,” said Natalie, chief of the Fitness Branch.
The CIA has several onsite workout facilities and offers employees up to three hours a week for fitness activities. One Agency officer explained, “Like most people, I always have a ton of work to get done. But I have found that making time to exercise each week really helps me focus my day and ultimately makes me more productive in my job.”
To bolster the effects of working out, the Find Your Fit team coordinates with Agency food services to increase the number of healthy food options available to employees. These “mindful” meals provide an easy way to eat a balanced meal and complement any workout regime. The campaign offers culinary demonstrations from the Agency’s chefs, who offer advice about how to cook healthy meals at home.
Supporting the Fitness of Deployed Officers
The Agency also supports the fitness preparation of officers preparing for work assignments outside CIA headquarters. Upon their request, Agency officers receive fitness assessments and exercise guidance before deploying to the field. Upon their return, officers may repeat the fitness test to see what effect their deployment exercise regimen had on their overall fitness.
“Moving forward, we would love to support CIA officers deployed away from Headquarters in the same way we do at Headquarters,” Natalie said.
These workforce wellness initiatives are just a few of the ways the Agency supports employees as they work hard to protect our nation’s security.