Issue 11- FEBRUARY 2016 |
February 1, 2016

Happy New Year and welcome to Issue 11 of the Activity Advocate, NCPPA's comprehensive e-newsletter on physical activity. The Activity Advocate includes policy updates, news updates, conference and event updates, organizational updates  and  research,  all focused on physical activity.
Physical Activity In the News
The Eternal Weight-Loss Question: Exercise or Diet?

Here's What Happened When a School Tried Recess Four Times a Day Read

Why Smart Employers Promote Workplace Wellness and Paid Time Off Read 

Regular Physical Activity Improves Cardiovascular Health, Lowers Mortality Risk Read  

A Neuroscientist Says There's a Powerful Benefit to Exercise That Is Rarely Discussed Read

Tying the Value of Walking to the Value of Real Estate  Read

Regular Physical Activity Vital For Heart Healthy, Longevity Read 

Overweight Kids May Benefit Greatly From Physical Activity Read 

Walking and Biking: Good for You and Your Company's Bottom Line Read
Upcoming Events
* Webinar: The New Federal Transportation Bill: What Does It Mean for the Walking Movement? February 24, 2016

* SHAPE America SPEAK Out! Day March 1-2, 2016 Washington, DC 
Washington, DC

*SFIA's 2016 National Health Through Fitness Day 
March 15-16, 2016 Washington, DC 
* IHRSA 2016/35th Annual International Convention & Trade Show  March 21-24, 2016  Orlando, FL 

*SHAPE America National Convention & Expo April 5-9, 2016 Minneapolis, MN
* Safe Routes to School National Conference April 7-9, 2016  Columbus, OH

* Aspen Institute's Project Play Summit  May 17, 2016 Washington, DC

* Building a Healthier Future Summit , The Partnership for A Healthier America  May 18-20, 2016
Washington, DC 
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Policy Update
Planning Is Underway for the 2nd Edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG) The Office of Disease Preven tion and Health Promotion (ODPHP) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is leading this effort. They are working in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN).  Nominations to serve on the 2018 PAG Advisory Committee will be accepted through February 5, 2016. Learn More
PHIT Act Achieves Unprecedented Congressional Backing 
Supporters of the PHIT Act, including several NCPPA members, have achieved an unprecedented level of bipartisan support, including 51 co-sponsors (27D-24R) from the House of Representatives. PHIT also reached a major milestone by being introduced in the Senate for the first time. 

The Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT Act) (H.R.1218 & S.2218) is legislation pending in Congress that would expand the IRS definition of a "medical expense" to include physical activity as a form of prevention.  Learn More
Physical Education Funding Opportunities in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) contains numerous references to a "well-rounded" education. The term "well-rounded" is defined as courses, activities, and programming in subjects such as English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, career and technical education, health, physical education, and any other subject, as determined by the State or local educational agency, with the purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum and educational experience.'' 

This designation allows physical education to be eligible for funding opportunities throughout the bill.  The following document summarizes the potential funding opportunities for improving access to and the quality of physical education.  Learn More
Federal Courts Rule in Favor of the Employers, Another Case Still Pending
Back in September 2014, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against Flambeau, Inc., a plastics manufacturer, alleging that its wellness program, which required employees to complete a health risk assessment and biometric testing in order to be eligible for participation in the company's group health plan, violated the Americans With Disabilities Act's (ADA) prohibition against medical questions or examinations, unless they are voluntary, job-related or subject to business necessity. 

On December 31, 2015,  a federal judge ruled in favor of Flambeau, asserting that employers can deny healthcare coverage to employees who do not participate in a wellness program without violating the ADA, as long as the data from such programs is used for purposes of  overall health coverage.  Learn More

The EEOC is still pursuing another wellness case,  EEOC v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc, in which it claims Orion Energy System Inc. also violated the ADA by penalizing and firing an employee after she declined to participate in a "voluntary" wellness program.  Learn More

What does this mean?
- The Flambeau decision supports a program that is considered especially coercive amongst consumer groups and allows employers significant leeway in designing their programs.
- This decision may result in significant response from labor groups and employees who are concerned about their worksite culture, data privacy,  and cost shifting.
- Employers still need to be mindful of wellness and nondiscrimination rules under the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) and under the Genetics Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and state and local laws that apply to employer health plans and employee health management programs.
Research, Reports, and Announcements
Walking As A Practice
America Walks is excited to announce the release of their latest report, "Walking as a Practice." This report, along with individual case studies, outlines four categories that identify how individuals and organizations across America are engaging in the practice of walking. Written and researched by Jonathon Stalls of Walk2Connect and edited by Ian Thomas, the report looks at the power that comes when we choose to walk. Read
Moving Toward Active Transportation: How Policies Can Encourage Walking and Bicycling
Active Living Research has released a new report, " Moving Toward Active Transportation; How Policies Can Encourage Walking and Bicycling."  This research review summarizes evidence on the health benefits and safety of active travel, and examines policies and programs that can help increase active travel.  Read
The CEO Pledge for Physical Activity
NCPPA is happy to announce that Jack Groppel, Ph.D., co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, will continue to serve as the NCPPA national spokesperson for the CEO Pledge for Physical Activity.

The CEO Pledge for Physical Activity is NCPPA's national campaign to encourage every CEO In the United States and beyond to recognize physical activity as an important driver of employee health and business performance.   Learn More
The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity is a diverse blend of associations, health organizations, and private corporations advocating for policies that encourage Americans of all ages to be physically active.
NCPPA Policy Agenda

We want this newsletter to be as useful and informative as possible - so please send us your feedback and suggestions regarding current content and future topics we should address. We look forward to hearing from you.


Ayanna McKnight