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IHRSA Advocate

The IHRSA Advocate is your guide to knowing and understanding the policies that influence daily health club operations. We analyze the action, so you know when to take your own.

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Entries in Pennsylvania (6)


Pennsylvania Recognizes Active Aging Week

The earlier in life you start being active the better, but it’s never too late to start. As we discussed in last month’s Health Chat Live, in some cases, starting late doesn't put you behind at all. Pennsylvania lawmakers decided to formally recognize the benefits of exercise for older adults by enacting House Resolution 493, which designated September 24-28 as the state’s “Active Aging Week.” IHRSA submitted testimony to the sponsor in support of the bill.

Almost 15 years ago, the International Council on Active Aging started a campaign focused on promoting healthy lifestyles and increasing physical activity levels among older adults. The weeklong campaign became known as “Active Aging Week” and is annually celebrated during the last week in September.

“Active Aging Week” challenges the idea that physical ability declines with age. The observance serves as a reminder that older adults can live a full, happy, and healthy life simply by making physical activity a daily habit.

Let the statistics speak for themselves. Physical activity in middle and older age has been shown to improve blood glucose and prevent prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, breast and colon cancer, and delay cognitive decline. For older adults with an existing chronic disease, physical activity can even sharpen mental and physical functioning and add life to years.

Unfortunately, obesity and physical inactivity are still prominent issues in the United States. Less than half of U.S. adults are physically active (participating in at least 30 minutes of moderate activity three times a week), a number that decreases to about a third after age 65. As this inactivity epidemic continues to spread, more and more citizens are at an increased risk for developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and some cancers.

In Pennsylvania alone, nearly a third of residents are considered obese based on body mass index. This has to change.

It’s important for other states to follow Pennsylvania’s lead and acknowledge the positive effects physical activity has on health and quality of life. If you are interested in getting a similar resolution introduced in your state, we can help. Contact IHRSA's public policy team.


Fitness Tax Proposal Advances in PA Senate

Legislative Alert: With the clock ticking on the Pennsylvania legislature's 2014 session, state lawmakers continue to give serious consideration to imposing a sales tax on health club services. 
Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Senate Finance Committee voted to advance Senate Bill 76 (SB 76), which finances an elimination of the state's property tax, in part, by expanding the list of services subject to the sales tax. The amended version of that list includes services provided by "fitness and recreational sports centers."
The bill still must pass a full vote in the Senate before being considered in the House (where an identical proposal has previously failed to gain support). And while there is limited time remaining for SB 76 to clear the remaining legislative hurdles, our industry must continue to speak loudly against the bill while it advances toward enactment.
IHRSA is working with its lobbyist in Harrisburg to voice the industry's opposition to the tax and educate legislators on the harmful impact that taxing fitness would have on the physical and fiscal health of the commonwealth. The industry's lobbying efforts will be significantly strengthened by the involvement of health club owners and operators located throughout Pennsylvania.

IHRSA Members should be on the lookout for another Legislative Alert prompting you to take action.


Pennsylvania Legislature Threatens to Tax Health Clubs

IHRSA to ask member clubs for advocacy participation
Meanwhile, legislators are singing a drastically different tune than Missouri on sales tax, as Sen. Dave Argall ramps up efforts to reduce local property taxes by imposing a sales tax on health clubs (among other goods and services). IHRSA will soon send a call to action email asking member clubs to email their legislators, via our online advocacy center, to ask them to oppose Sen. Argall's bill.

If you are an IHRSA member club in Pennsylvania, please be on the look out for this email, or check for updates.


Thank You for your Advocacy as Penn. Sales Tax Fight Continues

Though Thanksgiving has passed, we here at IHRSA maintain our grateful spirit and would like to thank the IHRSA members in Pennsylvania who e-mailed their state legislators and asked them to oppose Senate Bill 76. SB 76 would impose the state’s sales tax on health club dues and services. As always, your voice is key to IHRSA’s success in protecting and promoting your business and the industry.

The fight against SB 76 continues, so if you are a Pennsylvania member and have not yet e-mailed your legislator, you can do so here. Also, learn more about the issue at


IHRSA Mobilizes Penn. Health Clubs to Fight Sales Tax Proposal


Lawmakers in Pennsylvania are once again considering imposing a sales tax on health clubs (and other sectors and services) as one way to finance the elimination of the property tax. IHRSA members across the state are rallying against the proposal.

If you are Pennsylvania member, we need your voice. Learn more and get involved now… 

Photo attribution: Michael Plasmeier 


State Updates: PA and MI


07.31.13. The legislature is now in recess, but is poised to consider several issues that may affect health clubs when the session resumes in September. Issues include sales tax, membership contract renewals and incentives for exercise. Learn more…


08.01.13. IHRSA wants to hear from Michigan health clubs on a specific nutrition licensure law and how it impacts your business. Get more information here…