Promoting Sports & Fitness
Participation and Industry Vitality

SFIA Products and Services


Date: 6/22/16


SILVER SPRING, MD – June 22, 2016 – Imagine 68% of all U.S. children, ages 6-17, not being physically active three times a week or more. It’s true.  Or, 9.5 million U.S. children admitting that they were not physically active at least once in the past year in any one of 100+ sports or activities. It’s true.  This is the state of physical inactivity for American youth.  And, the numbers are getting worse.

According to recent figures from the Physical Activity Council, in 2015, 34.9 million American children (ages 6-17) were classified as ‘not active to healthy standards,’ which means they were physically active less than three days a week in any activity.  Here’s the breakdown of the 34.9 million children who are not ‘active to healthy standards’:  21.6 million 6-12 year olds and 13.3 million 13-17 year olds.

Even more shocking is that 5.4 million of 6-12 year olds and 4.1 million of 13-17 year olds are totally physically inactive. In 2015, just over 25% of 6-12 year olds and less than 40% of 13-17 year olds were physically active to healthy standards.

“The roots of this national trend of physical inactivity are a lack of P.E. in schools,” says Sports & Fitness Industry Association President/CEO Tom Cove. “As schools dropped physical education starting over a decade ago, this seeded the ‘Inactivity Pandemic.’   Making matters worse, families are now facing increased costs for youth sports participation.  Americans need help to reduce activity expenses which is why SFIA and PHIT America are leading the effort to pass the PHIT Act.”

According to a new study published by Pediatrics, children are only getting an average of 23 minutes of physical activity a day while in school. 

“Think about it. Two out of every three children in America are not ‘active to healthy standards’ today and it is getting worse every year. The young consumers are the heart and soul of the sports and fitness industry. This issue of physical inactivity is also the ‘time bomb’ for the healthcare crisis as these children are much more prone to disease,” says Jim Baugh, Founder, PHIT America.  “The average budget for a school today for P.E is $764 per year. And, for an elementary school, it is only $460 per school. Even recess has been reduced or cut in many schools. This is a crime.”

This is why the Sports & Fitness Industry Association and PHIT America are focused so much on rebuilding physical education programs in U.S. schools and passing the PHIT Act.

“We know the key to increasing the number of children who are active is to restore P.E. in schools. This is why the SFIA is promoting support of PHIT America and the GO! Grants program,” adds Cove. “Along with reducing the cost of sports and fitness to families, we have to go to the main place where ‘activity is born’ -- in school gyms and in P.E. programs.”

Founded in January 2013, PHIT America (www.phitamerica.org) is a non-profit campaign focused on overcoming the severe ramifications of the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ through three strategic approaches – education, supporting school-based activity programs, and advocating – which will get Americans, especially our youth, more active, fit and healthy.  For more information about PHIT America, visit www.PHITAmerica.org.

ABOUT SFIA: The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.


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