FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPRI Products, Inc. Joins Fitness Industry Leaders on Capitol Hill to Urge Congress to Address the Physical and Fiscal Cost of Inactivity
Libertyville, IL â€“ May 6, 2010 â€“ Herb Flentye, President/CEO, and Adam Zwyer, Director of Marketing & Operations, of SPRI recently held meetings in Washington, DC with members of the Illinois Congressional delegation to voice their support for health promotion legislation as part of the International Health, Racquet & Sports Club Association's (IHRSA) 8th Annual Summit for a Healthier America, held May 5-6, 2010.
The event brings together fitness industry leaders on Capitol Hill to meet with Members of Congress and discuss the negative impact that sedentary lifestyles have had on America's health and to encourage them to pass the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (H.R.2105) and The Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act (H.R. 2106, S. 913). Congress needs to take an active role in integrating exercise as preventive medicine into health care reform. By supporting WHIP and PHIT, Congress has the power to create a national culture that encourages healthy lifestyles and makes exercise accessible to more Americans.â€
â€œAs obesity levels associated with chronic diseases and sedentary lifestyles increasingly weigh down our health care system, it is imperative that each of us work toward making exercise a fundamental part of our the national culture,â€ stated Herb Flentye, President of SPRI. â€œIn today's America, we're all sharing the burdensome costs associated with physical and fiscal inactivity, but if we provide people with the tools necessary to become more active, and Congress supports exercise as a preventative medicine, we can start to ensure a healthier future for America.â€
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 re-introduced in Congress in April 2009. If passed, the WHIP and PHIT Acts will remove federal barriers to exercise and reward Americans for choosing to lead healthy lifestyles.
About the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act
The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (H.R.2105), reintroduced 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 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 the Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act
The Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act (H.R. 2106/S. 913), reintroduced 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.
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.
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. The association's membership includes over 9,000 clubs in 75 countries, along with over 650 industry suppliers. 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 for all Americans and is working to pass laws that will help affect societal changes toward a more fit America.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE