SPRI joins with IHRSA for Health Care Reform

SPRI Products, Inc. Joins Fitness Industry on Capitol Hill to Promote Exercise as Prevention and as a Key Component to Health Care Reform
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


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SPRI Products, Inc.
Adam Zwyer
800-222-7774
adam.zwyer@spri.com



SPRI Products, Inc. Joins Fitness Industry on Capitol Hill to Promote Exercise as Prevention and as a Key Component to Health Care Reform

Libertyville, IL – May 15, 2009 – Pat Miles, Director of Sales, of SPRI Products recently held meetings in Washington, DC with Illinois Congressional leaders to voice his support for health promotion legislation as part of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association's (IHRSA) 7th Annual Summit for a Healthier America, held May 6-7, 2009.

The event brings together fitness industry leaders on Capitol Hill to call on Congress to take an active role in integrating exercise as preventive medicine into health care reform. By supporting federal legislation, Congress has the power to create a national culture that encourages healthy lifestyles and makes exercise accessible to more Americans.

At this year's Summit, fitness industry leaders voiced their support for the passage of the Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act (H.R. 2106/S. 913), and the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (H.R.2105) which were recently re-introduced in Congress. If passed, WHIP and PHIT will remove federal barriers to exercise and reward Americans for choosing to lead healthy lifestyles.

“Given the strain on our health care system associated with sedentary lifestyle, it is imperative that each and every one of us get involved to make physical activity an integral part of our nation's way of life,” said Pat Miles, Director of Sales, of SPRI Products “This is the message that we carried to our members of Congress and will continue to support through every channel we possible can – in Washington, D.C., in our communities, and in our homes.”

“As an industry, we are committed to increasing accessibility to regular exercise,” continued Miles. “We call on every level of government to help us remove the barriers to regular exercise that people face, while supporting measures to increase the personal and financial incentives to exercise.”

About the Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act

The Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act (H.R. 2106/S. 913), re-introduced in the House of Representatives on April 27, 2009, promotes wellness in the workforce by balancing current law and allowing for off-site fitness center memberships as a tax-free benefit for employees. Current law allows employees to use on-site fitness facilities free of any tax implications, but when a business needs to outsource this health benefit, employees who receive off-site fitness center subsidies are required to pay income tax on the benefits, with their employers bearing the associated administrative costs of complying with IRS rules. The WHIP Act eliminates this tax on off-site fitness center subsidies, making it easier for all employers to offer important exercise incentives for their workers.

About the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act

The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (H.R.2105), re-introduced in the House of Representatives on April 27, 2009, creates a financial incentive for Americans to engage in physical activity and exercise. The PHIT Act would allow Americans to utilize up to $1,000 annually or $2,000 for a joint filing, from pre-tax health spending accounts (such as FSAs) to make expenditures related to organized, individual and team sports; fitness and exercise; recreation, and other physical activities. The PHIT Act would provide Americans with a tax incentive to invest in preventative health care before costly treatment is necessary, with the potential to save 20-30% annually on fitness-related costs.


About SPRI
SPRI is the leading manufacturer and distributor of rubberized resistance exercise products for the health and fitness industry and develops a wide range of innovative, affordable fitness tools and supportive educational materials for everyone from the casual exerciser to the professional athlete. Equipment and accessory offerings include those for fitness training for strength, balance, sports conditioning, and many more applications.

About the Campaign for a Healthier America

The Campaign for a Healthier America is IHRSA's newest national grassroots project bringing together exercise enthusiasts to make healthy lifestyles a priority for all Americans. The Campaign seeks to bring the fitness industry together with government, employers, medical and public health professionals, insurance providers, schools, and each of us individually. IHRSA believes the government should support healthy lifestyle choices. Be a part of the Campaign's Virtual March on Washington and tell President Obama and Congress to support the passage of the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act to make exercise accessible for more Americans. Write an email. Send a video. Share your story: http://www.campaign4health.org.

About IHRSA

IHRSA is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA is committed to taking a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to America's health and the battle against obesity and disease. IHRSA supports effective national initiatives to promote more active lifestyles and is working to pass laws that will help affect societal changes toward a more fit America.


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