For Immediate Release: May 9, 2016
(Indianapolis)- The Global Alliance for Health & Performance announced an ambitious initiative today to secure from every member of Congress a signed commitment to promote physical activity as a means for combatting what is considered a national health care crisis.
The Congressional Commitment to Physical Activity was developed by the Global Alliance as a distinctive way to garner leadership and support in the fight for a healthier America. Three Congressional members, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and representatives Robert Dold (R-IL) and Ron Kind (D-WI), were the first to sign the commitment in conjunction with a Congressional Briefing at the nation’s Capitol on April 20. The commitment is being promoted in collaboration with the Congressional Fitness Caucus.
“By signing this document, members of congress are committing to making physical activity a priority for themselves, along with their offices, constituents and communities,” said Dr. Jack Groppel, co-founder of Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute and co-chair of the Global Alliance for Health & Performance. “Their leadership in taking this movement through the halls of Congress and out into our communities is a crucial next step in creating a healthier America.”
Representative Kind, co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Fitness Caucus, was enthusiastic about being among the first representatives to sign the commitment. “I am proud to lead the way in promoting physical fitness,” said Kind. “It’s simple: You can’t have healthy minds without healthy bodies. We must encourage people to take action to reverse the disturbing rise in obesity and chronic illness before it’s too late.”
The Congressional Commitment Campaign is a key strategy of the Global Alliance for Health and Performance, which was jointly founded by Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, Inc. and the American College of Sports Medicine. The alliance is a network of experts from the fields of health, academia, business, sport and science who are focused on sharing the proven principles of sport science and energy management to help improve the health and performance of individuals, organizations and communities.
“Members of Congress can help lead the charge, and there are many benefits to signing this commitment,” said Jim Whitehead, executive vice president and chief executive officer for the American College of Sports Medicine. “It costs nothing, has powerful and scalable impact, and is imminently sustainable and replicable.”
By signing the commitment, members of Congress are agreeing to three basic tenets: be physically active themselves, encourage and make it easy for their staff to be physically active and underscore and demonstrate to their constituents the importance of adequate physical activity to better health.
Congressman Dold also co-chairs the Congressional Fitness Caucus, “As co-chair of the caucus, I believe that staying active is essential to staying healthy,” said Dold. “In order to stop the deadly trend of obesity in our country, it’s important that we instill the value of physical activity at an early age and emphasize the importance of living an active lifestyle.”
The Congressional Commitment Campaign comes at a critical point in the health of our nation. While there are many influencers of health, physical inactivity is a growing problem and threat. According to the Centers for Disease Control, only half of adults get the physical activity they need to help reduce and prevent chronic diseases. The British medical journal The Lancet reports that physical inactivity causes one in 10 deaths worldwide, rivaling smoking and other tobacco use, and the publication considers this situation as a literal pandemic. Insufficient activity is considered by the United Nations as one the top four causes of noncommunicable diseases, which causes more than 60 percent of deaths around the world each year. The nations of the World Health Organization have committed to reducing physical inactivity by 10 percent.
The Congressional Commitment is aligning with other related efforts that, together, are building momentum in promoting better health through physical activity, such as the recent launch of the new U.S. National Physical Activity Plan and the Surgeon’s General Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities.
About the Global Alliance for Health and Performance
Jointly founded by Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, Inc. (JJHWS) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Global Alliance for Health and Performance is a network of experts from the fields of health, academia, business, sport and science who are focused on sharing the proven principles of sport science and energy management to help improve the health and performance of individuals, organizations and communities around the globe.
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 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. More details at www.acsm.org.