Legalizing Longevity

by Joy Keller on Oct 01, 2007

Proposed federal legislation reveals an inspiring lean toward wellness and prevention.

Fitness professionals understand firsthand the transformative power exercise can have on an individual’s health and life. The right approach can make all the difference. If recent proposed federal legislation is any indication, lawmakers are starting to understand that health, fitness and wellness should be as American as mom and apple pie. As of press time, the following health-related items are being considered on Capitol Hill.

Federal Legislation

The Health Promotion FIRST (Funding Integrated Research, Synthesis and Training) Act (S. 866) amends the Public Health Service Act. It would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a strategy that would include coordinating the health promotion activities of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Under this act the HHS would address how best to

  • develop the basic and applied science of health promotion;

  • synthesize and disseminate health promotion research;

  • support the health promotion community; and

  • modify or develop resources, policies, structure and legislation to integrate health promotion into all health professions and sectors of society.

The act also requires the HHS secretary, acting through the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to develop a plan to establish a health promotion research agenda. In addition, as it is currently written, the act requires a modification in the grant and contract application procedure “to attract the most qualified individuals and organizations, rather than those most experienced with the application process.”

The Healthy Workforce Act (S. 1754) motivates employers to implement workplace wellness programs. It provides a tax credit for half of the cost of a qualified employer health promotion program: up to $200 per employee for the first 200 on staff and $100 per individual for remaining employees. The credit is realized through income tax credits or payroll tax, depending on the status of the employee. The act also directs the CDC to develop an outreach program that would make employers aware of the tax credit and educate them on how to develop effective programs and measure success. Another initiative in the act is to instruct the CDC to expand the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to include a workforce component.

The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (H.R. 245) would allow up to $1,000 a year from pretax Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts to pay for exercise programs, gym memberships, fitness equipment and sports-league fees for kids and adults.

The Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention (HeLP) America Act (H.R. 2633/S. 1342) amends the Public Health Service Act to require the HHS secretary to convene a task force on childhood obesity. The legislation “seeks to improve the health of Americans and reduce healthcare costs by reorienting the nation’s healthcare system toward prevention, wellness and self-care.” It also includes incentives that ensure the “safety and convenience” of pedestrians and bicyclists, which may encourage physical activity.

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 4, Issue 9

© 2007 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master.


Trending Articles

20 IDEA World-Renowned Presenters Share Advice on Success and Happiness

We asked some of this year’s most influential and motivating IDEA World Fitness Convention™ presenters to share the single piece of advice they would give another fitness/health pro to hel...

Smooth Move: Creative Additions to Consider for Smoothies

When looking for a quick breakfast or post-workout nourishment, almost nothing beats a smoothie. Whirl in the right ingredients and the blen...

Nuts and Peanuts Reduce Cardiovascular Risk and Prolong Lifespan

While there have been numerous studies in recent years touting the health benefits of nuts and peanuts, new research published online March ...

Yes, You CAN Develop Better Eating Habits

Analogous to laying out your exercise gear so it’s the first visual reminder you have of your commitment to exercise each day, imagine...

Mindful Walking

Walking can be more than just moving physically from one location to another. It can be a metaphor for your larger life journey. Things you&...

Cut Risk of Alzheimer’s with MIND Diet

Conservative adherence to a new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a paper published o...

7 Ways to Help a Client Boost Adherence

Once a client has decided to make nutritional changes to support weight loss, you can play a key role in developing an action plan that is m...

Recipe for Health: Picadillo-Stuffed Peppers

If you don’t believe that authentic Mexican cookery is “whole” and healthy, you need to take a deep dive into Mexico: The Cookbook (Phaidon 2014), the first truly comprehensive bible...

Low Intensity vs. High Intensity: Which Is Best for Obese Adults?

The debate continues regarding the most effective exercise measures for reducing abdominal obesity and improving glucose measures.

Treadmill Performance and Mortality Link

nterested in predicting how long you’ll live? Hop on the treadmill. That’s according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Unive...