The Campaign for a Healthier America is a national advocacy campaign to make healthy lifestyles a priority for all Americans. The Campaign is predicated on the Vision for a Healthier, More Prosperous America—a set of 5 guiding principles of a nation that values primary prevention (regular exercise, proper nutrition, smoking cessation and stress management). The Vision encompasses all sectors of American life, with opportunities for healthy living for adults, children, employees and employers.
The goal of the campaign is to reduce obesity, chronic disease and lower health care costs by enacting federal legislation that creates opportunities and incentives for regular exercise. With health clubs leading the charge, we must encourage our fellow Americans to take charge of their health—not just with prescription drugs and surgery—but also with preventive measures such as exercise and proper nutrition.
WHIP – The Workforce Health Improvement Plan Act (WHIP) would ensure that the wellness benefit from off-site fitness facilities is not taxed as additional income for employees (currently, if an employee utilizes their wellness benefit in a facility that is not on the same grounds as their employer it is taxed as additional income).
PEP - Known officially as the Carol M. White Physical Education for Progress (PEP) Program, the purpose of PEP is to improve the health of the country's youth by increasing funding for physical education programs. PEP provides grants to schools for initiating, expanding and improving physical education programs for grades K-12.
FIT Kids – The Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act (F.I.T Kids) (H.R.1057/S.576) renews the emphasis on physical education in schools by working to ensure kids are active during the school day and are given opportunities that promote overall health and wellness.
PHIT – The Personal Health Improvement Plan Act (PHIT) (H.R. 2649) allows Americans to pay for physical activity expenditures (health club memberships, exercise equipment, youth sports leagues fees) out of pre-tax savings accounts such as flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs).
U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines – Federal recommendations on the types and amounts of physical activity that offer substantial health benefits to Americans.
Your Role in the Campaign
It’s time to let your legislators know how important healthy lifestyles are to you. Become the change for a healthier America. Here’s what you can do:
- Send an e-mail to tell legislators your story that epitomizes how exercise and living healthy have impacted your life and the lives of your members.
- Get your members involved. Hang up this poster in your club.
- Download a brochure. Distribute this educational brochure from your front desk and locker rooms.
- Create a 2-3 minute video message to legislators illustrating your story and e-mail it to IHRSA at email@example.com.
- Share your photographs promoting a healthier America. We will upload them to flickr.com/campaign4health.
- Attend the 10th Annual Summit for a Healthier America in Washington, DC on May 1-2, 2011 (more details coming soon).