Build Your Fitness Biz With the PHIT Campaign

By Aaron Eisberg

An epidemic is threatening the lives of millions of Americans. We’re not talking about the flu, or whooping cough, or polio, or measles, but about something equally hazardous to human life: Inactivity. Enter the PHIT Act. Wondering what this legislation is and how it can benefit your gym or health club? Here’s a closer look at what all fitness business owners need to know about the PHIT Act.

The 411 on the PHIT Act

The Personal Health Investment Today Act, AKA the “PHIT Act,” aims to help reduce illness and expenses associated with the sedentary crisis and resulting obesity epidemic in America. This piece of legislation -- now pending in Congress -- will allow Americans to pay for physical activity-related expenses with pre-tax medical accounts.  

Many employer-provided healthcare programs as well as the Affordable Care Act grant employees access to pre-tax medical accounts which allow them to designate part of their salaries each pay period to cover out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision care expenses. While these accounts are currently restricted to reimbursing post-sickness medical expenses, PHIT will allow taxpayers to set aside up to $2,000 annually to cover physical activity expenses. 

In supporting more Americans in becoming active in their everyday lives, this proactive, preventative strategy reframes the collective national focus from “sick care” to “healthcare.” 

Fitness Businesses and the PHIT Act

Fitness businesses exist to help members embrace more active, healthy lives. From this perspective, gyms and health clubs are inherently aligned with the PHIT Act.

However, the financial benefits to fitness business are also profound. In covering reimbursements across a breadth and depth of physical activity expenses, including health club membership dues, exercise classes, and personal trainers, the PHIT Act has the potential to save individuals and families as much as 30 percent on fitness expenses, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. 

Simply put: In making physical activity more affordable for Americans, the PHIT Act also facilitates increased access to fitness centers, along with the strong likelihood of increased participation across everything from memberships to fitness courses to personal training services. 

Doing Your Part for PHIT

All evidence points in the direction of the PHIT Act as a win-win-win for individuals, fitness businesses, and society at large. But despite rare bipartisan support for the legislation, it’s far from a done deal. Your fitness business can help ensure its success by downloading the PHIT Toolkit in order to learn more about how to educate members and staff about the bill in order to promote engagement and generate excitement for the PHIT Act. 


One simple yet significant way to spread the word? Use the #PassPHIT social media campaign to raise awareness and keep buzz alive. Your health center can also join the PHIT America Alliance - and encourage your employees and members to do the same -- in order to receive useful newsflashes, which can be followed retweeted and posted. 

Fitness businesses looking to make an even bigger impact, meanwhile, can become a PHIT America Alliance Sponsor. In doing so, you won’t just dramatically improve the lives of Americans through your support of the PHIT bill, but you’ll also gain priceless public relations exposure and other opportunities to leverage PHIT America to benefit your gym or health center. 

Now the fourth leading cause of death in the US, physical inactivity is associated with the deaths of 5.3 million people in the US -- more than the five million associated with smoking, according to PHITAmerica. The good news? PHIT and “fit” go hand in hand. Your fitness business can join the fight in reversing this trend  (and help your own bottom line in the process) by getting on board with the PHIT Act.  

Looking for other ways to increase enrollments, meanwhile? Learn more about the Accurofit System today.