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Navy Sailors Using Exercise to Combat Stress, Polls Find

MILLINGTON, TN — Navy sailors are under more stress now than they were four years ago, but most are using exercise and sports participation to alleviate it, a recent poll found. And a majority of sailors reported having adequate access to physical fitness facilities and equipment.

The Navy released the results of two recent “Quick Polls” designed to gauge sailors' thoughts on stress levels and physical readiness programs.

Seventy-four percent of sailors reported “some” or “a lot” of work stress in 2009, compared to 58 percent in 2005, according to the “2009 Navy Behavioral Health Quick Poll” conducted by Navy Operational Stress Control.

The top stress-relief activities were exercising or participating in sports, developing a plan to solve the problem and talking with a family member or friend.

Navy Personal Readiness and Community Support also conducted a poll to gauge sailor satisfaction with fitness facilities and resources. Based on the feedback, Navy officials made adjustments to fitness education-related Web tools.

About 85 percent of the sailors who responded to the “2009 Navy Physical Readiness Quick Poll” said they had adequate access to fitness facilities and equipment, primarily at their duty stations. Nearly 80 percent reported that they always or sometimes make fitness a part of their daily routines. Only 50 percent said they were satisfied with the Navy's physical education resources, which prompted the Navy to make changes online.

“Since the Quick Poll, we've restructured our physical readiness program Web site to include videos, checklists, a how-to guide for the conduct of the physical fitness test, the Fitness Enhancement Program Guide and an up-to-date nutrition guide,” Bill Moore, director of the Navy's Physical Readiness Program, said in a statement.

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