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National Health Through Fitness Back for 16th Year

29 Dec, 2015


The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), PHIT America, celebrity athletes, and industry partners will converge on Capitol Hill on Mar. 15-16 for 2016 National Health Through Fitness (NHTF) Day.  In its 16th year, NHTF Day provides a critical platform to garner support for key legislative initiatives on behalf of the industry and sports & fitness participants across the country.  Raising awareness of the nation’s inactively pandemic and building Congressional support for the PHIT Act will be the principal goals for this year’s Capitol Hill Day effort.  Ensuring funding for physical education to support quality and innovative P.E. in schools will also be on the agenda. 

The PHIT Act is legislation pending in Congress that would expand the IRS definition for medical expenses making physical activity costs reimbursable using pre-tax dollars in Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).  It would also allow consumers to deduct physical activity costs once they meet the 10 percent of income threshold on medical expenses.  The PHIT Act would incentivize Americans to get active to improve health and reduce healthcare costs related to the obesity and sedentary crisis.

Eligible expenses would include sports and fitness equipment solely used to participate in a physical activity, gym memberships, fitness & exercise classes, sport/activity camps & clinics, youth & adult sports’ registration fees, lessons & clinics, running & fitness event registration fees, yoga and other physical activity charges. 

Representatives Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Ron Kind (D-WI) first introduced the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 1218) last March.  The Senate companion bill (S.2218) was subsequently introduced by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) in October, thus marking the first time the PHIT Act has been introduced in both chambers of Congress. 

“The PHIT Act has strong bi-partisan support with 48 co-sponsors split evenly in the House and a new Senate bill introduced by two Republicans and two Democrats.  SFIA is leading a broad coalition effort to move PHIT through Congress and get the President to sign it into law,” said SFIA’s vice president of Government & Public Affairs Bill Sells.  “The work we do on National Health Through Fitness Day will be critical to the overall effort as we build support and momentum for active lifestyles via the PHIT Act to improve health in America,” added Sells. 

Participation in National Health Through Fitness Day is open to SFIA members and nonmembers.  To learn more about the event and register, visit https://www.sfia.org/events/2016nhtfdayregistration.

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