Senate Committee Passes Bill Designed to Keep Americans Informed, Healthy

(Washington, DC)- The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) today passed a major health-promotion bill supported by the American College of Sports Medicine. Senate Bill 1608, the Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act, would require the updating of the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans every 10 years. ACSM is leading the charge because of the bill’s potential impact in addressing a major health crisis. The bill now goes to the full Senate.

“Simply put, the health of our nation is in jeopardy because of the rising prevalence of physical inactivity and chronically sedentary lifestyles,” said ACSM President Bill Kraus, M.D. “From children to adults, most Americans fail to meet the minimum recommendations for exercise, while cases of preventable chronic disease skyrocket. Updating the physical activity guidelines based on the latest evidence will provide the recommendations needed to combat this growing health crisis in our country.”

The statistics are stunning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that physical inactivity, together with a poor diet, causes more than 400,000 deaths each year and is becoming the leading preventable cause of disease and disability. Conversely, physical activity helps fight the disturbing increases in prevalent chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, sleep apnea, colon cancer, breast cancer, persistent depressive disorder and arthritis. All of these conditions are either preventable or can be moderated through regular physical activity.

With such a powerful return on investment, ACSM has been leading the charge to pass the new legislation, which will:

  • Require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to publish a report called “Physical Activity Recommendations for Americans” at least every 10 years based on the latest scientific evidence;
  • Midway through each 10-year cycle, a second report would highlight “best practices and continuing issues in the physical activity arena, which may focus on a particular group… or a particular issue relating to the physical activity of Americans.”
  • Help fight the growing obesity epidemic by recommending separate exercise guidelines for children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities

“These recommendations are not based on conjecture, but on evidence,” continued Kraus. “Physical activity can effectively help all people prevent, manage and recover from the most devastating and preventable chronic diseases we face today. Updating the guidelines will continue to provide the roadmap to better heath.”

 

About the American College of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 members and certified professionals from around the world are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. Find details at www.acsm.org.

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