Legislation Ensures Regular Updates to Physical Activity Guidelines
Washington, DC – The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) commends the leadership of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) for introducing the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Act of 2013. The bipartisan bill is based on the physical activity guidelines provisions in Harkin’s comprehensive wellness bill, the Healthier Lifestyles and Prevention America (HeLP America) Act, introduced earlier this year.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Act requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to update and issue physical activity guidelines for all ages at least every 10 years while compiling intermediate “midcourse” reports highlighting specific groups, issues, concerns, or practices at least every five years. The original Physical Activity Guidelines were issued by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2008, with no requirements from Congress for regular updates. Regular revision and update of the recommendations is important for ensuring the overall health of the U.S. population and for keeping the U.S. a global leader in the science of physical activity and exercise.
This important legislation comes just a few days after the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) and the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition (PCFSN) released the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth. The Midcourse Report, while not required by law, was in response to a growing demand among the physical activity community and policy makers for HHS to provide an updated summary of evidence-based intervention strategies and recommended “next steps” for increasing physical activity in children age 3 to 17. Senator Harkin’s and Senator Wicker’s bill would provide HHS a directive to continue to conduct midcourse reviews every five years on specific topics of importance within physical activity, and update the medical research and literature informing the guidelines at least every 10 years.
“In order for foster physical activity as the primary preventative health intervention, it is imperative that experts and policy makers stay on top of the current science and provide the best possible evidence-based physical activity recommendations to the public in order for communities, educators, physicians, and families to make informed decisions about their health and the health of their children,” said Scott Goudeseune, President of NCPPA. “The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Act is an important first step to hold ourselves accountable to that goal.”
About the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity
NCPPA is the nation’s leading alliance promoting physical activity and fitness initiatives. The coalition is a diverse blend of associations, health organizations, and private corporations, advocating for policies that encourage Americans of all ages to become more physically active.
NCPPA Member Organizations
American Council on Exercise │ American Heart Association │ International Health, Racquet, and Sports club Association │ National Council on Strength & Fitness │ American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance │ American Cancer Society │ American College of Sports Medicine │ IDEA Health and Fitness Association │ MEND Foundation │ National Athletic Trainers' Association │ National Academy of Sports Medicine │ SPRI Products │ United States Tennis Association │ YMCA of the USA