Physical inactivity is epidemic in America, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. The group is on a mission to change that by promoting passage of the PHIT Act in Congress.
Late last week, the Personal Health Investment (PHIT) Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate by a bipartisan group of four U.S. Senators: Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Thune (R-SD), Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN). A similar piece of legislation is under way in the House of Representatives.
If passed, the PHIT Act would make fitness more affordable by changing the IRS definition of a “medical expense” to include physical activity as a form of prevention. As a result, Americans would be able to use their pre-tax medical accounts (such as HSAs and FSAs) for expenses such as youth-sport registration fees, health-club memberships, fitness classes and more.
Check out this short video to see why the PHIT Act matters:
“This is the first time that the PHIT Act has been introduced in both chambers of Congress,” Bill Sells, SFIA’s VP of government and public affairs, said in a statement.
And so far, the PHIT Act has received broad support from both sides of the aisle in Congress. But the SFIA is taking no chances in ensuring that the legislation will pass.
Today, the group — in concert with PHIT America and the PHIT Act Coalition — launched a national grassroots social media campaign to raise awareness and generate a call to action. It has enlisted help from across the sporting world, including industry organizations like the U.S. Professional Tennis Association, USA Volleyball, National Sporting Goods Association, Outdoor Industry Association, National Golf Foundation and Snow Industry Association.
In addition, brands, retailers and athletes will be tweeting and posting about the PHIT Act over the next few months, encouraging people to contact their representatives through the Phit America website.