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FITNESS PARTNERSHIP FORMED TO "GET AMERICA MOVING" Landmark Meeting Seeks to Mobilize Broad Base of Public/Private Organizations to Promote Greater Physical Activity

Washington, D.C., April 23, l994 -- In an unprecedented move last month, the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) brought together over 20 health and fitness advocacy organizations to hear their views on how best to promote the value of physical activity to an American public that is becoming less physically active. The PCPFS convened the landmark meeting to establish a clear channel of communication among the influential groups and to more effectively promote the value of physical activity in the pursuit of happier, healthier, more productive lives. Many of the groups in attendance have designated some part of May, which is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, to observe their own health or fitness cause. "President Clinton is committed to making physical activity more appealing to less active Americans. Not only is regular physical activity good for you, it can also be easy and fun," said PCPFS Co-Chairs Florence Griffith Joyner and Tom McMillen. "Since May is a time when Americans everywhere are called upon to celebrate and participate in health and fitness activities, uniting these diverse groups will give the importance of physical activity increased public resonance and help move people to move themselves in healthier ways," the Co-Chairs added. With the goal of boosting public awareness of the numerous health benefits of physical activity, the PCPFS invited representatives from 23 public and private organizations to a special meeting of "Presidential Fitness Partners in May" to

share ideas and insights on ways they can combine their efforts during the month of May, and throughout the year. A principal goal of the meeting was to place greater emphasis on preventive health in all participants' May observance messages. President Clinton himself is committed to making physical activity more appealing to less active and sedentary Americans because it is known to have significant health, performance and safety benefits. A recent national opinion survey by the PCPFS and Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association showed that while less active Americans understand the direct link between regular exercise and improved health, more than four out of ten (4l%) say they're not likely to increase their physical activity in the near future. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of the physically less active interviewed said that although they would like to exercise more, they are unable to find the time. "Collectively, we can pool enormous resources to help mobilize all Americans to be more physically active," said McMillen, who noted the connection between the push for responsible prevention and the current legislative drives on health care, crime and welfare. "Recreation, sports and fitness can be a rejuvenating force in our nation's cities," he said. The PCPFS established three key priorities for partnership organizations to discuss and reach a consensus during the first meeting: o To assess ways in which the PCPFS could immediately assist fitness partner organizations in expanding awareness of physical activity among their constituencies, o To ascertain how each organization could begin immediately to expand awareness of physical activity and fitness activities during their own observances during the month of May and throughout the year, and, o To determine ways that as Presidential Fitness Partners in May they could work together in the future to direct national attention to the importance of physical activity in improving the quality of life. During the session, a number of innovative and yet practical suggestions surfaced to address priorities and identify opportunities to propel current and future health and fitness campaign efforts. Included were: developing a strategic plan for the partnership; conducting a coordinated media and marketing campaign; sharing and disseminating literature; gathering new data on the benefits of physical activity; and co-sponsoring educational and national health and fitness events. The participants, representing younger and older Americans, physical education, runners, numerous sports and fitness groups and associations, sporting goods manufacturers, health and fitness clubs and mental health organizations, agreed to meet again in the near future to collaborate and plan an ongoing national effort. This year's partnership effort marks an evolution from past activities conducted by the PCPFS, designed to reach Americans who are less inclined to "pump up" and more inclined to "get moving," even if only in small measure. "Together, we can involve other associations, individuals and corporations in this partnership," said Sandra Perlmutter, PCPFS Executive Director, who envisions the partnership becoming a year-round effort. "We're not just talking about May. All of the groups involved have a vision that's a lot further, a lot more far-reaching." (See Presidential Fitness Partners in May 800 numbers, listing of exercise-related May observances.) ### PRESIDENTIAL FITNESS PARTNERS IN MAY President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports For more information, call: American Running and Fitness Association l-800-776-ARFA (2732) IHRSA - The Association of Quality Clubs l-800-228-4772 (Commit to Get Fit!) Mature Market Resource Center l-800-828-8225 (for Senior Fitness Day - May 3l, l995) National Arthritis Foundation Information Hotline l-800-283-7800 National Association of Sport and Physical Education l-800-32l-0789 (for Physical Education and Sport Week packets only) Disabled Sports USA l-800-966-4647 National High Blood Pressure Month (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) l-800-575-WELL (9355) National Mental Health Association l-800-969-6642 National Osteoporosis Foundation l-800-223-9994 May "Month" Observances/Sponsors - l995 National Allergy/Asthma Awareness Month Sponsor: Allergy/Asthma Council National Arthritis Month Sponsor: Arthritis Foundation National Better Sleep Month Sponsor: The Better Sleep Council National Bike Month Sponsor: League of American Wheelman National Correct Posture Month Sponsor: American Chiropractic Association National High Blood Pressure Education Month Sponsor: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute National Mental Health Month Sponsor: National Mental Health Association National Older Americans Month Sponsor: Administration on Aging National Physical Fitness and Sports Month Sponsor: President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Commit to Get Fit! Month Sponsor: International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association All Children Exercise Simultaneously (ACES, May 3) Sponsor: Youth Fitness Coalition, Inc. National Physical Education and Sports Week (May l-6) Sponsor: National Association of Sport and Physical Education American Running and Fitness Week (May 7-l3) Sponsor: American Running and Fitness Association National Osteoporosis Prevention Week (May 7-l3) Sponsor: National Osteoporosis Foundation Across America Tennis Day (May l3) Sponsor: U.S. Professional Tennis Association National Employee Health and Fitness Day (May l7) Sponsor: National Association of Governor's Councils on Physical Fitness and Sports National Water Fitness Week (May 24-3l) Sponsor: U.S. Water Fitness Association National Senior Health and Fitness Day (May 3l) Sponsor: Mature Market Resource Center Senior Games/Olympics (May l7-2l) Sponsor: U.S. National Senior Sports & Games Organization