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Legislation Includes Incentives for Physical Activity
Washington, DC – The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) applauds the leadership of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, in introducing the Healthier Lifestyles and Prevention America (HeLP America) Act (S. 39). This legislation provides a comprehensive approach to fighting chronic disease and obesity and promoting wellness in America by maintaining focus on physical activity, promoting healthy diet, and encouraging a productive and active workforce.
As chronic disease and obesity rates continue to rise in the United States, it is imperative that our federal policies reflect the vast expanse of evidence that physical activity can reduce the risk of developing numerous chronic diseases and in many cases reverse existing disease. The cost attributable to insufficient physical activity by the majority of Americans is astounding: in 2006, direct U.S. medical costs due to lack of physical activity were estimated to be greater than $188 billion per year.
Senator Harkin’s HeLP America Act includes initiatives to improve access to physical activity in the workplace, such as tax credits to businesses offering their employees comprehensive workplace wellness programs and a deduction for the costs of athletic facility memberships. The bill also encourages physical activity at school.
Scott Goudeseune, President-elect of NCPPA said, “NCPPA and its member organizations look forward to working with Sen. Harkin and other members of Congress to continue to find cost effective ways to promote physical activity in the war against inactivity and chronic disease.” Goudeseune noted, “being active is the least expensive way to reduce obesity and promote good health and wellness at any age.”
About the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity
NCPPA is the leading force in the country promoting physical activity and fitness initiatives. We are a diverse blend of associations, health organizations, and private corporations, advocating for policies that encourage Americans of all ages to become more physically active.