The U.S. Air Force is making it easier for airmen to work out by making fitness centers on bases accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Late last year, Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) officials began testing an initiative that would allow fitness centers to operate unsupervised and stay open 24/7, according to an article published on the Air Force's website.
Six test installations implemented the changes and monitored facility use, utility cost increases, damage to the facility or equipment, and injuries or incidents to determine whether the program could be expanded across the Air Force, according to a previous article on the Air Force's website. The six test bases report that the initiative has gone well, and it is now being rolled out throughout the Air Force.
The change is one way to make fitness more convenient at a time when the number of airmen being discharged for failing to meet physical fitness standards is increasing dramatically.
"Fitness centers are critical to airman fitness and resiliency, but most centers have fixed hours, unlike the Air Force, which has a 24/7 mission," Capt. Matthew Dunn, AFPC Services Transformation deputy chief, said in the article. "Airmen who work unusual hours may not be able to get to the fitness center during routine operating hours."
Since the facility will be unmanned outside of regular business hours, new safety policies will be implemented. Each facility will have entry and security systems, as well as written guidelines for unsupervised use and a list of emergency numbers to call. Emergency equipment, such as first-aid kits and defibrillators, also will be available.