SOURCE: GlobalFit

April 29, 2005 14:53 ET

GlobalFit Urges Congress to Pass the Workforce Health Improvement Program Act

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 29, 2005 -- GlobalFit, the nation's leading provider of employee and group fitness benefits, supports the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association's (IHRSA) campaign to secure passage of a law giving favorable tax treatment to fitness club memberships offered as an employee benefit.

"The Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act (H.R.1634, S.772) would provide a much-needed incentive for companies to help fund fitness club memberships for their employees," said Michael Cassady, GlobalFit President and CEO.

"Currently, businesses can deduct only the cost of on-site workout facilities," Cassady explained. "Employees, for their part, have to pay income taxes on off-site memberships paid for by their employers. Passage of the WHIP Act would correct these inequities. It would provide a deduction to employers for the cost of memberships to off-site clubs. And it would exempt employees from paying taxes on these memberships."

IHRSA is working to ensure that the WHIP Act is passed in the 109th congress. During last year's session, nearly 40 lawmakers signed onto the bill thanks in part to lobbying by IHRSA members like GlobalFit.

GlobalFit already has enlisted the aid of its clients -- more than 1,200 employers and insurers representing more than 50 million potential fitness club members -- as well as its nationwide network of more than 1,500 fitness clubs. GlobalFit has asked clients to "Let Their Voices Be Heard" by writing members of Congress in support of the WHIP Act. Links from the GlobalFit website direct people to IHRSA's pre-written letters. "It's easy for our clients to show their support," said Cassady. "In a few clicks they can do something that will improve the health of Americans for years to come."

"GlobalFit salutes IHRSA's efforts to expand access to fitness club memberships," he added. "Congress should act quickly on this vital legislation."

IHRSA is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA is committed to taking a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to America's health and the battle against obesity and disease. IHRSA supports smart national initiatives to promote more active lifestyles and is working to pass laws that will help affect societal changes toward a more fit America.

Global Affiliates, Inc. (GlobalFit) is the nation's leading provider of employee and group fitness benefits. Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Philadelphia, GlobalFit offers a comprehensive range of fitness, health and wellness products and services including discount memberships to more than 1,500 fitness clubs in their nationwide network. For more information on GlobalFit and to show your support for the WHIP Act please visit www.globalfit.com.

Contact Information

  • For More Information Contact:
    Lisa White
    Director of Marketing
    GlobalFit
    215-320-4204