12th Annual IHRSA Summit for a Healthier America

2014 Dates to be Announced | Washington, DC´╗┐ 

America has an inactivity problem. Health clubs are the solution.

As a health club operator, you are a major part of the solution to the physical inactivity epidemic, so please join us at an upcoming DC event as we tap into the creativity, ingenuity and leadership of Summit attendees to envision the club of the future. Then meet with your members of Congress on Capitol Hill to promote the positive impact that healthy lifestyle choices and exercise can have on America’s health and prosperity.

We are stronger together.

The 2013 Summit was sponsored by the companies noted below, and we gratefully acknowledge their support:

You need to be visible to get lawmakers to focus on your issues. What I have found, in my 25+ years in Washington, is that legislators truly want your information, and they want you to explain the issues to them. They want to be responsive and they come here to get things done. So come talk to them!
- Mary Matalin , Political Commentator & Previous Keynote Speaker

Event Overview

When you read about the obesity epidemic, rising health care costs, and preventable chronic diseases . . . do you wish that our nation's policymakers could hear about the impact your club is having on your community?  Do you wish they knew about the lives that are being transformed at your facility? You have a powerful story to tell, and this is the time to tell it.

  • Come together with other club operators and industry professionals to explore the opportunities for your club, your community and the country as we present the fitness industry as part of a broad community dedicated to healthy lifestyles and primary prevention.
  • Be present at the start of a powerful grassroots movement which aims to save lives, encourage increased individual responsibility, increase worker productivity, and lower spiraling health care costs. 
  • Bring our message and vision to legislators about the vital solution YOU provide for one the greatest problems facing the country.

What IHRSA Supports

IHRSA and the fitness industry support Senate Resolution 97 and the following bills, all of which would generate tangible health benefits for all Americans by way of primary prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion.

  • The Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT): The PHIT Act would make it easier for Americans to join a gym. Specifically, it would allow individuals to pay for gym memberships, fitness equipment, exercise videos and youth sports league fees with dollars from pre-tax accounts, like health savings accounts (HSAs).
  • The Workforce Health Improvement Program Act (WHIP): Under current tax law, businesses are permitted to deduct the cost of onsite exercise facilities and employees are not taxed on the benefit. However, if an employer provides this same benefit at an offsite facility, employees who take advantage of the benefit must pay income tax on the value of the subsidy. The WHIP Act would eliminate this inequity, reaffirming employers’ right to deduct the cost of providing offsite health club or gym benefits and preventing this wellness benefit from being considered additional income for employees.
  • The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Act: The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Act mandates a regular review of the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. A regular review would ensure that the guidelines are in line with the most up-to-date, reliable scientific and medical research on the benefits of physical activity. It would also send a strong message about the importance of regular physical activity to good health. It was introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS).
  • Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP): PEP provides grants to local education agencies and community-based organizations to initiate, expand, or enhance physical education programs, including after-school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. PEP is in danger of being defunded and it is the only source of federal funding for quality PE.


You're in a great business at the right time. A sedentary lifestyle is a recipe for failing. You've got to be physically active to experience all of the joys of life. The WHIP Act is designed to encourage people to exercise and lead healthier lifestyles by offering them financial incentives to do so. It makes economic sense because Medicare costs would go down, Medicaid costs would go down, and workplace productivity would increase.
- Congressman Zach Wamp (R-TN)

I believe we in the fitness industry have a responsibility to provide leadership in the fight against obesity and other lifestyle related diseases. It is incumbent upon us to trumpet that message of wellness to all those whose decisions impact the lives of our fellow citizens.
- Roland Brown, CEO of Concierge Fitness

What we should be doing is providing real encouragement-financial incentives-so that Americans will take better care of themselves. A lot of people know that they need to be healthy, but require a little push. The WHIP Act would give them the chance to enjoy the benefits of belonging to a health club, which is in the best interest of both the employee and the employer.
- Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee