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Athletes to Meet with Congress to Promote Active Lifestyles at SFIA's National Health Through Fitness Day

Source: Sports & Fitness Industry Association

March 4, 2016 – Silver Spring, MD – The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), PHIT America, the America College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), celebrity athletes, industry executives, P.E. teachers, the fitness community, and other physical activity supporters will converge on Capitol Hill, March 15-16 for 2016 National Health Through Fitness (NHTF) Day.

An impressive group of 17 athletes are confirmed to attend this year’s event including, seven-time NHL All-Star & three time NHL MVP -- Alex Ovechkin, 1992 Olympic swimming gold medalist – Summer Sanders, football legend/Heisman Trophy winner and honorary chairman of NHTF Day – Herschel Walker, nine-time Olympic track & field gold medalist – Carl Lewis, retired Major League Baseball pitcher – Tommy John, and three time NBA champion –Bruce Bowen.

The athletes will meet directly with U.S. Senators and Congressmen/women to deliver the message and ask them to pass the PHIT Act.

Americans are more sedentary than ever before and unless we change the culture, the trend will continue and the incidence of preventable chronic conditions will rise.  The scariest part we need to do something now or it will get significantly worse.  The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation reported in June 2015 that inactive children are six times more likely to have inactive kids when they become parents and we currently have the least active generation of children in history. 

50 years ago more workers had jobs that required physical activity, children played outside regularly and youth sports were largely free. Our society has changed; now only 20 percent of the workforce has a ‘physical activity’ job, casual play has all but disappeared and most youth sports require parents to pay a fee.

Cost has become a barrier to active lifestyles, especially among lower and middle income Americans.  The PHIT Act will lower the cost by allowing consumers to use pre-tax dollars to pay for activity expenses.  Families would receive up to 40 percent savings on youth activity fees, including pay-to-play in high schools, young adults would receive a discount on their gym memberships, fitness classes and recreational sports costs and older Americans could use PHIT funds for golf, yoga or any other qualified physical activity expense. 

At a time when partisanship is at an all-time high in Washington, the PHIT Act is the rare bill that enjoys support from Republicans and Democrats alike.  It’s common sense legislation to encourage active, healthy lifestyles.  If you help parents with the cost of their children’s activities, the children stay active as young adults and when they become parents their children will be six times more likely to be active than be on the couch.  That’s culture change in America! #PassthePHITAct

ABOUT SFIA

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.

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