Washington, D.C. — April 19, 2018 — American Council on Exercise’s 3rd Annual Congressional Fitness Challenge, a competition that tracks steps and other selected forms of physical activity for six weeks, drew a record number of competitors—more than 700 individuals from 64 offices—a more than 200% increase from last year. The competition spanned from Feb. 5 to March 18.
The challenge provided members of Congress, their full-time staff and interns the opportunity to get more physically active in a congenially competitive way, to build camaraderie while doing so, and to inspire their constituents to embrace physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. The friendly competition drew almost equal numbers of teams from both sides of the political aisle.
“When it comes to embracing physical activity, the U.S. Congress leads by example,” says ACE President and CEO Scott Goudeseune. “The fact that so many of our nation’s leaders showed up to walk the talk is a true testament to our collective commitment to build better health across our communities and our nation.”
This year, ACE utilized MoveSpring, a walking challenge app that syncs to most activity tracking devices and apps to automatically track steps. Not only did this make it easier for participants to stay focused on being active, but it provided a real-time leaderboard that helped motivate teams to get moving. Offices were invested in the challenge, which has quickly gained popularity over the last three years. One participant stated, “This is always my favorite part about January.”
Here are the 2018 Congressional Fitness Challenge Winners:
Top 3 Stepping Teams (average # steps—Senate and House combined)
- Team Ferguson (GA-03) — 19,691 steps
- Team Diaz-Balart (FL-25) — 17,422 steps
- Team Katko (NY-24) — 16,520 steps
Top Stepping Team—Senate (total # steps)
- Team Casey (PA) — 14,556,643 steps
Top Stepping Team—House (total # steps)
- Team Cartwright (PA-17) — 8,797,600 steps
Top 5 Senate Steppers (total # steps)
- Jerry Arteaga (Team Burr-NC) — 1,031,948 steps
- Cole Lyle (Team Burr-NC) — 957,114 steps
- Ann Hawks (Team Burr-NC) — 879,508 steps
- Sarah Benzing (Team Brown-OH) — 864,144 steps
- Bryan Wells (Team Roberts-KS) — 771,168 steps
Top 5 House Steppers (total # steps)
- Bill Rockwood (Team Soto-FL-09) — 1,536,015 steps
- Lee Lonsberry (Team Bishop-UT-01) — 1,367,268 steps
- Rolando Chavez (Team Gomez-CA-34) — 1,261,895 steps
- Roberto Gama (Team Gomez-CA-34) — 1,249,647 steps
- Kevin Dollhopf (Team Dingell-MI-12) — 1,240,393 steps
A special congratulations to the two top performing members of Congress, Sen.Burr (R-NC) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT-01) who both finished in the top 15 on the Senate and House sides, respectively. You can see the ranking of top teams and individuals in the Advocacy Center.
Teams are already looking forward to next year’s challenge. Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-NC) commented, “It was a team effort, and Team Burr is already gearing up for next year to take the top spot!”
“The challenge is appropriately named. It certainly was a challenge. It was a motivational way for my staff to interact beyond the office. I’m ready for next year,” said Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT-1).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 117 million Americans have at least one chronic disease, and 79 percent of American adults do not meet the government’s national physical activity recommendations. Overwhelmingly, studies show that physical activity plays an important role in the prevention and management of obesity and chronic diseases. Roughly 86 percent of the nation’s annual healthcare spending could be reduced through healthier lifestyle choices, including increasing physical activity levels.
Together, with our family of more than 80,000 ACE certified exercise professionals and health coaches, our allies, partners and educators, programs like the Congressional Fitness Challenge demonstrate our commitment to moving all communities toward a healthier and more active way of life.
To learn more about how the American Council on Exercise is advocating to build a fitter, healthier nation, follow us on Twitter at @ACEadvocacy.
The American Council on Exercise’s annual Congressional Fitness Challenge will be back next year with registration beginning on Jan. 14, 2019.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization with global reach that works to improve physical-activity levels by certifying exercise professionals and health coaches, publishing original research, convening experts on physical activity and health, working directly with community groups, and advocating for policies to get people from all walks of life moving. The 80,000 exercise professionals and health coaches certified by ACE are among the most respected in the world of fitness, helping people embrace physical activity and adopt a healthier lifestyle. For more information, call 800-825-3636 or visit ACEfitness.org.