Industry Watch

IHRSA Industry Watch provides insight on how policy issues affect not only the health club industry, but your bottom line. You'll learn about efforts to protect the industry, and promote health clubs as a solution to the inactivity epidemic. You’ll also find information on pressing industry issues, industry leaders and leadership opportunities, health promotion opportunities and more. 

For even more timely relevant news about advocacy issues affecting the club industry, subscribe to Capitol Report.

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California End of Session 2014

California closed out its legislative calendar without having enacted any new laws that will directly impact the state’s health club industry.

IHRSA worked with its lobbyist in Sacramento to represent industry interests on a number of issues that could have affected your business, most notably on Child Care / Kids Camps and on Sales Tax issues.

IHRSA members are invited to read the full End of Session Report here.


Problematic Tax Bill in Michigan

Michigan lawmakers are considering a bill that would levy a 6% sales tax on "transportation reliant services" to fund road repairs. Health club services are not currently included in the bill, but there is talk of expanding the six percent tax to currently exempted services. Given that health clubs have been considered for additional taxation in recent sessions, IHRSA is taking a proactive approach to opposing the tax.

IHRSA members are invited to


The U.S. Has A New Surgeon General For The First Time In Over A Year - And It May Be Good News For Clubs

Last night (December 15th) in a wave of procedural votes in the Senate, Dr. Vivek Murthy was confirmed as the new surgeon general. The U.S. has been without its top physician since Dr. Regina Benjamin stepped down in November 2013. 

Why Did It Take So Long?

What Are His Qualifications?

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Canada Establishes National Health and Fitness Day

Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) is very pleased to announce that after over two years of promoting National Health and Fitness Day (NHFD), today, the government passed Bill S-211, an Act to establish the first Saturday in June each year as National Health and Fitness Day - across our country. The objective is...

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Op-Ed: "Cutting the Fat on Cancer"

Helen Durkin, IHRSA's Executive Vice President of Global Public Policy writes in today's The Hill, stating how important exercise and physical activity is to cancer prevention and treatment, and advocating for policies that create a "culture of wellness".

Helen writes, "For years, the health club industry has been advocating for public policy and legislation that would remove barriers to and incentivize exercise—a key element of primary prevention and a low-cost preventive against many costly chronic diseases, including several types of cancer". And adds, "the concept is this: If we can create a culture of wellness in all segments of society, we can prevent disease; avoid costly and debilitating health care spending; increase productivity in the workplace and competitiveness in the global marketplace; and strengthen our international standing."

Read the full article here... 

Helen Durkin

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Champion for the health club industry. Committed advocate for physical activity, primary prevention, and public policies that promote wellness because it will take more than personal responsibility to get the world active.

Tutorial: Sending an Email to your Representatives

A concise, well thought out email is one of the most effective ways you can influence lawmakers. Since lawmakers get hundreds of emails every day, here are tips to make your email have impact:

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ILC Update: Your Legislative Alarm is Ringing

Do you use the alarm setting on your calendar software? I do. I enter an appointment into my calendar, set the alarm to remind me of the appointment and then I forget it.  The beauty of a trusted system like this is that you know you don’t have to keep it on your mind, but you can trust that you are going to be alerted to what you need to know, when you need to know it. 


IHRSA has created that same trusted system for you when it comes to your “legislative appointments.” We send you legislative alerts to let you know when the legislature in your state is taking action that could have either a negative or positive effect on your business – leaving as much time as possible for you to take action.

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When Employees Sound Off on Social Media

Employees' use of social media has always posed complicated questions for health club owners.

You'd hope that your staff would use social media judiciously, particularly with respect to comments about your club, but, sometimes, unfortunately, they don’t exercise their best judgment.

What should you do when an employee makes a compromising statement about your club or members? Do you have the right to take disciplinary action against them? 

First, it should be noted that the First Amendment only protects free speech from government interference, which leaves private-sector issues to the manager’s discretion.

That said, it’s not a cut-and-dried issue. While you can, to some extent, control what your employees post about business, there are still federal labor laws to consider.

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A Bridge Over Uncomfortable Waters

Today, as I was perusing Twitter to find inspiration for this week’s (Be Active Your Way) blog post, I came across an article in Psychology Today by Dr. Sherry Pagoto on the real reason we don’t exercise. According to Pagoto, the reason is that we avoid being uncomfortable in an increasingly comfortable world (at least in the US). I read through all the comforts of modern life, and all the discomforts we hate (being cold – guilty, getting out of bed in the wintertime – guilty), and found myself nodding in agreement with Dr. Pagoto’s solution of challenging ourselves to get comfortable being uncomfortable. 

Fighting the Wellness Tax

IHRSA Advocacy staff is just as disappointed as all wellness consumers and businesses in Washington, DC regarding the implementation of the DC Wellness / Yoga Tax.

Below is a brief summary of the steps that IHRSA took and is still working on to stop the tax.

IHRSA's Position Statement on the Wellness Tax

It is IHRSA's position to support members in the area since we are an out of town entity. We supported our Washington, D.C. members by:

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