In 2018, the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act passed the House of Representatives for the first time, but Congress adjourned before the Senate could vote.
PHIT will allow flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for health club memberships, fitness equipment, exercise videos, and youth sports leagues. If passed, PHIT would enable individuals to use up to $1,000 per year—up to $2,000 for families—to cover physical activity-related expenses.
The coronavirus pandemic disrupted normal life for everyone, especially exercise and physical activity routines. When the government decided that physical activity was not essential and mandated health clubs close, physical activity levels in the U.S. declined by 48% between March 1 and April 8. This drop is especially alarming when you consider pre-COVID-19, three out of four adults were already not getting enough physical activity.
But, physical activity is essential! It strengthens the immune system and may diminish the risk of contracting some communicable diseases, including upper respiratory tract infections common to COVID-19.
The PHIT Act will play an important role in getting Americans up and active by lowering the cost of physical activity through tax incentives. PHIT continues to gain bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. Visit the Senate PHIT page and the House PHIT page for the latest information on Congress members who support increasing physical activity.