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Entries in physical inactivity (9)


Fit to Lead: Danish Prime Minister’s Running Meetings Set the Bar for World Leaders

On a rainy Monday in April, eight people ran about three miles around a lake near Marienborg, the official residence of Denmark's prime minister. But this was no ordinary jogging group. 

Seven of the runners were leaders and influencers from a variety of industries, from television to the corporate world. The eighth runner—and the person who called the meeting—was Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen himself.

Continue reading "Fit to Lead: Danish Prime Minister’s Running Meetings Set the Bar for World Leaders."

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This Week in the Fitness Industry: Ice Bucket Challenge Results in ALS Breakthrough

Ice Bucket Challenge Proceeds Results in ALS Breakthrough
Unless you were living under a Wi-Fi-less rock in 2014, you’re well familiar with the Ice Bucket Challenge—the viral ALS fundraiser that had people—including IHRSA staff—record themselves pouring buckets of ice water over their heads and challenging their friends and family to do the same. Public figures such as Ellen DeGeneres, Taylor Swift, President George W. Bush participated in the challenge, garnering more than 400 million views on social media. The challenge raised $220 million worldwide, which funded the largest ever study of inherited ALS. And now, the viral sensation is paying off—the ALS Association reported that the study identified a new gene, NEK1, that ranks among the most common genes that contribute to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to Reuters. "Global collaboration among scientists, which was really made possible by ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donations, led to this important discovery," said John Landers of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Physical Inactivity Costs Global Economy $67.6 Billion a Year
Sedentary lifestyles—linked to increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer—costs the global economy $67.5 billion a year in healthcare and productivity losses, according to a study of one million people, Reuters reports. However, researchers found that just an hour a day of exercise—such as brisk walking—could eliminate most of that cost. Inactivity causes more than 5 million deaths a year—nearly as many as smoking, which kills 6 million a year, according to the World Health Organization. The study also found that people who sat for eight hours a day but were otherwise physically active had a lower risk of premature death than those who spent fewer hours sitting but were also less active. These findings suggest that exercise is particularly important, no matter how many hours a day are spent sitting.

Founder of Fresh Fitness and Fitness DK Launches New Innovative Chain of Clubs
REPEAT is Denmark’s newest fitness concept. The first two sites will open in Odense, the country’s third-largest city) and Copenhagen come September. The name “REPEAT” is a play-on-words—REPEAT is the third health club chain to be established by entrepreneur Rasmus Ingerslev. However, REPEAT, or rather repetition, is what it takes to be successful with your exercise and, according to the fitness entrepreneur Ingerslev, REPEAT will be both innovative and different from what you would normally expect of a health club. Read the full blog post about REPEAT.

Congress Introduces Legislation to Slow Federal Overtime Rules
Recently, legislation was introduced to slow the new federal overtime rules, which, as released this May, will mandate overtime pay for salaried workers making less than a new threshold of $47,476 per year, or $913/week. Previously, the white collar exemption excluded salaried employees making over $23,660 from overtime protections, e.g. time and one-half for all hours worked in excess of forty hours per week. The new rules stand to affect 4.2 million workers. Read our full coverage of the federal overtime rules legislation.


Fight the Global Inactivity Crisis with IHRSA's Educational Resources

The statistics are startling. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight; of these, over 600 million were obese. 

In the U.S., figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that, in 2014, no state had a prevalence of obesity of less than 20%. 

Five states had obesity rates between 20% and 25%; in 23 states, it was between 25% and 30%; 19 had an incidence between 30% and 35%; and, in three states—Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia—the obesity rate was 35% or higher. Yet, as WHO points out, obesity is preventable. 

Figures like these make one thing abundantly clear: There’s a dire need for health promotion programs and services in the U.S., and around the world. And, so, for several years, IHRSA has been leading the way by providing a variety of programs and resources. 

Back in 2012, IHRSA’s board of directors adopted a goal of positioning IHRSA clubs as a primary solution to the global physical inactivity epidemic. 

“IHRSA clubs offer safe, supportive, and effective environments for physical activity, and provide programs that directly address obesity and other specific health issues,” said Joe Moore, the president and CEO of IHRSA. “Understandably, the IHRSA board felt these aspects of the club industry warranted greater exposure.” 

Read the full CBI article to learn more about IHRSA’s efforts and educational resources. 


New National Tennis Initiative Aims to 'Rally the Family'

The Tennis Industry Association (TIA) has launched an exciting new initiative to encourage families to play tennis. If your club provides tennis, you can sign up now at

Rally the Family focuses on tennis for all ages, using lower compression red, orange and green tennis balls, shorter courts, shorter racquets, and modified scoring, along with a focus on family spending time together in fun and healthy activities, while also continuing to address this nation’s struggle with the inactivity pandemic and obesity crisis for our youth. All tennis providers—facilities, parks, clubs, teaching pros, etc.—are encouraged to sign-up for this initiative and list their programs and events at

“When you offer family tennis events and programs with Rally the Family, you’ll be part of a national campaign to grow our sport,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “This family tennis initiative, launching to consumers this spring, is designed to drive adults and kids to your courts and increase activity at your club or facility.”

As a Rally the Family provider, you'll have access to free tools and resources to promote your business, including a guide to welcoming new players, along with downloadable and customizable promotional material and templates.

“Rally the Family was developed by the tennis industry and its stakeholders to grow participation in the sport, for the benefit of all—including the important benefits tennis brings to children and adults,” says incoming TIA President Jeff Williams. “We urge you to join your industry to help revitalize tennis in America.”


“Is physical inactivity the biggest threat to our health?” 

Debating Europe recently published “Is physical inactivity the biggest threat to our health today?”.

As part of the discussion, Mogens Kirkeby, President of the International Sport and Culture Association, said that it is costing far too much in terms of human life and economic terms, both of which are “dramatic.”

Bobby Duffy, Managing Director of the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute, noted that people do not consider physical inactivity as a major public health issue if unprompted, but do highlight it when it is shown among a range of potential health issues.  

What do you think?


This Week In Health Promotion: Charleston Kids Get Active At School

Charleston School District Gets Creative With Exercise In The Classroom

In recent years, child obesity and physical inactivity has climbed while school physical education and recess have been on the decline. But some schools in Charleston, South Caroilina are aiming to turn the trend around. Kids in these schools can take more advanced PE classes, do yoga, and learn at desks that double as exercise equipment. They can also access special labs that blur the line between physical and academic education, all as part of the "Active Brains" program. 

So far feedback from parents and teachers has been positive. Learn more about Active Brains in the Washington Post.

Physical Activity - The Missing Link In Cancer Care

Breast cancer affects an estimated 1 in 8 women (12%) nationwide, and in 2015 nearly 300,000 cases of invasive and non-invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed, killing 40,290 women. Of course, breast cancer isn’t solely a women’s disease - it is anticipated that in 2015 men will be diagnosed with 2,350 cases of invasive breast cancer. While genetic predisposition is a factor, roughly 85% of breast cancer cases diagnosed in women are among those with no history of the disease.

The good news is that there are ways to help prevent breast cancer occurrence and reoccurrence. Research has shown associations between participating in regular physical activity and maintaining a normal body weight to lower risk of breast cancer. Physical activity has also been linked to lower risk of cancer recurrence and higher quality of life during and following treatment.  In a recent post on the Department of Health and Human Service Be Active Your Way Blog, IHRSA discusses the benfits of exercise for cancer patients and survivors, and highlights several clubs who are working to be part of the solution. 

Read the full post.


Grow, Promote, Protect for 2015

Our Country is suffering from an Inactivity Epidemic 

Despite the many proven health benefits of exercise; physical inactivity, obesity, and chronic disease continue to be growing problems. Meanwhile, we know that clubs (and their well-trained, caring, expert staff) truly are the solution to the inactivity epidemic.

While the industry is growing — health club memberships reached 50.2 million in 2013, an increase of 5.4% over 2012 — the majority of the population is still terribly inactive. And still, state legislatures continue to propose laws that put up additional barriers to exercise.

Therefore, IHRSA’s advocacy team works around-the-clock to Grow, Promote and Protect the industry.

Download a pledge form here. Read more.

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High levels of inactivity in the European Union

According to the results of the latest Eurobarometer survey on sport and physical activity, 59% of European Union citizens never or seldom exercise or play sport, while 41% do so at least once a week.

Northern Europe is more physically active than the South and East. 70% of respondents in Sweden said they exercise or play sport at least once a week, just ahead of Denmark (68%) and Finland (66%), followed by the Netherlands (58%) and Luxembourg (54%). At the other end of the scale, 78% never do so in Bulgaria, followed by Malta (75%), Portugal (64%), Romania (60%) and Italy (60%).

Commenting on the findings, Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner responsible for sport, said: "The results of the Eurobarometer confirm the need for measures to encourage more people to make sport and physical activity a part of their daily lives. This is crucial, not only in terms of an individual's health, wellbeing and integration, but also because of the significant economic costs resulting from physical inactivity."

Read more on the European Union website.


Health rankings by county report is out

Where you live can be a factor in your health.Annual research findings that show how health is influenced on where we live, learn, work and play is out.

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps uses high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, unemployment, access to healthy foods and more to determine how healthy the county you live in is, compared to the rest of the state.

The program is the result of a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Check out how your county measures up in categories like Length of Life, Quality of Life, Health Behaviors, Clinical Care, Social & Economic Factors and Physical Environment. Visit