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Encourage Physical Activity: Get Behind the PHIT Act

March 12, 2008 by Coach Ronda in Physical Activity with 3 Comments

Today’s youth are struggling against obesity and inactivity. According to the Center for Disease Control, 34% of American children suffer from overweight, obesity and physical inactivity. It is estimated that the direct medical costs associated with physical inactivity were $76.6 billion in 2000. The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act – House Resolution 245 – would help to reverse this trend by eliminating a federal policy barrier and providing an important tax incentive to promote exercise.

The PHIT Bill encourages increased physical activity opportunities for youth by easing the financial burden of being physically active. Specifically, the PHIT Bill would allow Americans to invest up to $1,000 annually from their tax-favored accounts (flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), medical savings accounts (MSAs) and/or medical reimbursement arrangements) to make expenditures related to organized individual and team sports, fitness and exercise, recreation and other physical activities. Depending on the consumer’s individual income tax bracket, PHIT would save Americans 15-45% on fitness-related costs because they wouldn’t be paid for with taxable income.

This tax incentive represents an important tangible benefit that the federal government can provide to promote healthier lifestyles and reverse the rising costs of treating obesity-related chronic diseases. According to the Surgeon General, “The fastest-growing cause of illness and death in America today is obesity. If we don’t do something about this, especially among our children, we will be a morbidly obese dysfunctional population…” Fitness-related tax incentives would help Americans make an important first step toward reversing their sedentary lifestyles and lowering healthcare costs.

In sum, the PHIT Bill encourages healthy, active lifestyles amony youth by:

  • making physical activity more affordable for American families,
  • reducing obesity,
  • improving health, and
  • increasing participation in youth sports.

You can help make a difference in the health of our youth by sending a letter to your representative in support of the PHIT Bill. You can find guidelines for writing your message at the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association or The International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association.

Additionally, bookmark this page to stay abreast of the Bill’s status below:

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  1. Holly BondMar 13, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Holly Bond is the Founder of Bulldog Interactive Fitness for YOUTH in Canada, soon to have locations in Florida. Canada has a public health care system, so we realize the financial impact of having overweight and obese children in our health care system that grow up to be overweight and obese adults – afterall, over 75% of obese teens grow up to be obese adults. Obesity translates into cardiovascular issues such as Miocardial Infarctions (heart attacks), diabetes, COPD, Congestive Heart Failure – the list is long. The Canadian government gives each child a $500 Healthy Tax Incentive for the exact same reason as was stated above: we need to make it easier for families to put their kids in organized sport or any activity which promotes health and wellness. For disabled children, they get $1000 tax incentive. For more information, please contact me via email at and I would love to speak to your group or government organization about how it works! It does work – afterall, our kids are our future and we need to ensure their health and wellness, both physical and emotional. At Bulldog Interactive Fitness for YOUTH, we concentrate not only on physical wellness using video games as just one avenue to get kids fit, but we also have a nutrition and self-esteem program.

    Holly Bond, President, Bulldog Interactive Fitness For YOUTH.
    Exercising a Kids Right to Play

  2. RondaMar 13, 2008 at 6:31 pmAuthor

    What to do about healthcare in the US has been a never-ending and ongoing debate. And in the midst of it all, those who are in need of it the most suffer. From what I’ve learned, Canada certainly has at least one solution to ensure a healthier population, particularly as it affects our future. I only hope that the new administration in the US (whomever that may be) will in fact bring about change and focus its policies on keeping our youth happy, healthy and strong.

  3. DreamGYMNov 10, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    I think it is a parent’s responsibility to provide certain level of physical activity to kids.

    Tax incentives are great help. But think about our usual expenses and all those “must-have” things that are just sucking money. I do not want to start a flame here, but compare a price of new Xbox or iPhone to the price of membership in fitness club or program in public swimming pool.

    How much MORE value these money can give to your child if you will opt out of just a couple of these “things”.

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