Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Fitbits Central to Army Program ; Fitbits: 20,000 Participating

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Fitbits Central to Army Program ; Fitbits: 20,000 Participating

Article excerpt

FORT RILEY -- An Army pilot program featuring a little wristband has brought a healthy dose of change for Capt. Charles Canby, motivating him to take better care of himself by sleeping more and walking more.

The Fort Riley soldier is among members of the 1st Infantry Division's 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team who began wearing a Fitbit wristband when they began taking part Aug. 31 in the Army's "Performance Triad."

The initiative focuses on achieving optimal fitness, sleep and nutrition to help soldiers "stay at the top of their game, physically and mentally," the division's commander, Maj. Gen. Wayne Grigsby Jr., told reporters this month.

The Performance Triad, or P3, is a comprehensive plan that uses health promotion initiatives and leadership engagement to increase resilience and improve combat readiness, according to its website at http://bit.ly/1NDUTvR.

The campaign trains soldiers "more like athletes," the Army Times reported in July.

The Triad began with trial runs in three battalions in 2013, the Army Times said. The second trial run is scheduled to continue through March. It involves about 20,000 soldiers in five brigades, each at separate military installations.

The scientists and experts who designed the Triad plan to analyze the data from the current trial run and potentially implement the program Army-wide.

Fort Riley's 1st ABCT is working to arrange for 80 percent of its roughly 4,000 soldiers to complete the current program, according to Danielle Holliday, health promotion officer for the 1st Infantry Division.

Participation in the Triad also is available to soldiers' family members, though they aren't issued Fitbits.

Canby, who helped plan the 1st ABCT's participation in the Triad, stressed that soldiers only were issued Fitbits in two of the brigades being evaluated nationwide. …

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