Yesterday was a truly exciting day on Capitol Hill—the Congressional Fitness Caucus, co-chaired by Congressmen Ron Kind and Robert Dold, have signed the Congressional Commitment to Physical Activity in support of the National Physical Activity Plan.
By signing this document, members of congress are committing to making physical activity a priority for themselves, along with their offices, communities and districts.
For reasons that aren’t hard to guess—from the rise of technology to an abundance of office jobs—people just aren’t getting up and moving as much as they used to. And believe it or not, most people know the benefits of physical activity, such as promoting bone and muscular health and preventing heart disease and diabetes.
So why aren’t Americans getting up and moving more?
That was the question I asked fellow members of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) just over five years ago. And what we quickly realized is that if we can start a movement based on promoting the physical and mental benefits of physical activity, we just might be able to get America moving again.
In 2012, the NCPPA and I rolled out the CEO Pledge for Physical Activity, with the purpose of getting business leaders to lead by example, demonstrating that they care about the health of their employees. A healthier workforce actually amounts to a healthier bottom line for America’s businesses.
We have real-life evidence based in research and case studies demonstrating that employees who are physically active, who move regularly throughout the day, actually drive higher performance. What’s more, they feel more energized, more efficient, more productive—and more satisfied at the end of the day.
The success of the CEO Pledge has been overwhelming, and many worksite wellness industry-leading organizations have played a role in that, including The Global Alliance for Health and Performance, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion and the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO).
Our own Chairman and CEO, Alex Gorsky, has taken the pledge and personally convened other business leaders to get on board. To date, more than 430 senior business leaders have signed the pledge.
This latest achievement of getting congress to sign an official Congressional Commitment to Physical Activity has been two years in the making through the efforts of the Global Alliance for Health & Performance, co-founded by Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions and ACSM.
Taking this movement out into our communities is a crucial next step to creating a healthier America, so I’m now asking you to commit to physical activity—to lead the way within your families and communities, no matter where you are in the world.
Dr. Jack Groppel, Ph.D., is the co-founder of Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute and co-chair of the Global Alliance for Health & Performance. Since 2013, Dr. Groppel has served as the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity’s national spokesperson for the CEO Pledge for Physical Activity.