Why the Fitness Industry Should Stay Calm and Push PHIT On

    Between 10 state legislative alerts and gaining our 122nd PHIT sponsor, a lot has happened since our last legislative update.

    A lot has happened in Washington, D.C. in the past month, yet paradoxically, Congress has not accomplished much. We had two (two!) government shutdowns and still have not decided on how to fully fund the government beyond next month.

    Despite the noise and seeming chaos, windows of opportunity for PHIT—our top federal policy priority—will continue to open, and we must be ready when they do! PHIT remains well situated, enjoying tremendous bipartisan support, with 122 sponsors (107 House, 15 Senate), and attaching PHIT to an omnibus spending bill remains the most immediate, but not the only, avenue to making PHIT a reality.

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    IHRSA 2017 attendees displaying their support for PHIT before a keynote.

    PHIT will play an active role in increasing the physically active population, while consequently helping restore our military readiness and combat the diabetes epidemic. Consider the following statistics:

    • Nearly 27% of young people (ages 17-24) are ineligible to join the military because they are too heavy. Every year, 15,000 potential young recruits fail their military physical due to obesity.
    • A review of 305 randomized controlled trials involving over 339,000 people found no statistically detectable differences between exercise and drug interventions for preventing the progression of heart disease and prevention of diabetes. For stroke patients, exercise was more effective than drug treatment.

    If you believe in the benefits of physical activity and making it more accessible for families across America, speak up!

    Send a personalized letter to your members of Congress and ask them to include PHIT in any omnibus spending bill. You can send our pre-written message as is, or edit it as you like.

    PHIT would allow more Americans to take control of their health, and help increase the physically active population.

    Exercise is a big part of the solution to many problems we are facing, and we need to encourage people to be physically active instead of creating disincentives to exercise. Help us spread this message.

    Below are some recent legislative alerts sent out to members. To access the full alert, please first log in to the IHRSA website:

    Empowering the fitness industry is an investment in America’s health.

    Do you have a question or concern about your state’s policies? Shoot us an email! You can also learn more by checking our state advocacy pages.

    Author avatar

    Jeff Perkins

    Jeff Perkins previously served as IHRSA's Vice President of Governance & Public Affairs—a position that focused on monitoring and influencing legislation at the state and federal level to protect club business models and operations, and help promote the health benefits of exercise.