A bid to engage politicians in exercise has inspired the launch of a new global physical activity challenge.
Kicking off in the US, the new Congressional Physical Activity Challenge will aim to highlight the importance of making exercise more accessible and inclusive.
The competition, instigated by The Physical Activity Alliance (PAA), is initially open to all members of the US Congress, their DC congressional staff and interns, with the inaugural Congressional challenge taking place from April 26 to May 26 this year.
Each participant will be given an MZ-Switch heart rate monitor – supplied by fit tech firm Myzone – to use during the challenge.
Winners will be awarded based on individual achievement, office achievement and most office staff participants able to reach the World Health Organization guidelines for physical activity.
The challenge was announced at a recent Physical Activity Congressional Briefing, where the PAA introduced its priorities and discussed the importance of federal efforts to increase physical activity in the United States and its wider ambition to raise the profile of exercise with politicians around the world.
Congressman Ron Kind, representing Wisconsin, said: "Being physically active is one of the most important lifestyle behaviours we can engage in, to maintain our physical and mental health.
“It’s been said that one of the best antidepressants ever invented is good old-fashioned sweat. Even during a global pandemic, it is critical that we work to encourage physical activity as we recover from the COVID-19 virus.”
PAA President, Monte Ward, said: “Physical activity is vital for the population’s health and wellbeing, and has a far-reaching impact on educational achievement, effective health care delivery, emergency preparedness, and military readiness.
“By helping more Americans to be physically active, we will not only save lives and protect citizens from diseases, we can also reduce health disparities and help to make the US a more productive and successful nation."