IHRSA strongly supports two federal legislative opportunities, The Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT) and The Workforce Health Improvement Program Act (WHIP). Both would make physical activity more affordable, and hence have significant potential to grow the physically active population legislation that
- PHIT would allow the use of flexible savings and health saving accounts to pay for physical activity to include health club memberships. 2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the PHIT Act in Congress. IHRSA used this noteworthy milestone as an opportunity to reinvigorate efforts to win support for this important piece of bipartisan legislation by launching the Tax Weekend Challenge in April 2016. – As of July 18, PHIT had 100 co-sponsors, 87 House, 13 Senate, with a truly bipartisan split of 55D-45R.
- WHIP would permit employers to deduct the cost of providing offsite health club benefits and remove the tax employees currently pay on their subsidized club membership. 82% of Americans say that they would exercise regularly if their employer subsidized a health club membership.
Opportunities at the State Level
- Financial Incentives for Physical Activity: In 2016, IHRSA working on (or foresees) legislation that would incentivize physical activity and remove financial barriers to health club memberships in Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
- Expanding Opportunities for Children’s Physical Activity: While most children are not current club members or targets, building a healthy generation is important for the future of the health club industry. IHRSA is currently pursuing initiatives that would encourage children to be more physically active in Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.