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Support the Designation of a National Get Vertical Day

Support the Designation of a National Get Vertical Day

Supported by The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, The American Association on Health and Disability and The Lakeshore Foundation

Dear Colleague:

I am writing to urge you to become an original co-sponsor of my resolution supporting the designation of a National Get Vertical Day.  It recognizes the importance of preventing physical inactivity and promotes active adult lifestyles, especially in the workplace.  This exciting day of movement and employee physical activity is an important first step in spreading awareness about the public health dangers of inactivity and sedentary lifestyles.

The prevalence of obesity has skyrocketed over the last twenty-five years, with over one-third of American adults now classified as obese.  The problem is particularly acute for ethnic and racial minorities as well as people with disabilities, who face disproportionately high obesity and diabetes rates.  The trends are so alarming that I am especially concerned that today’s youth may be the first generation to be less healthy and to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. 

Despite the growing attention to this dramatic increase in obesity rates, an overlooked factor is the amount of time Americans spend sitting down.  Those in corporate jobs typically drive to work sitting down, meet sitting down, eat sitting down, work on computers sitting down and talk on the phone sitting down.  Outside of going to the restroom or getting coffee, this time accumulates to over six hours of sitting every day, five days a week. 

In fact, only 22% of Americans report regular sustained physical activity, and only 5% of adults achieve the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.  In addition, people with disabilities can experience nearly double the rates of inactivity as people without disabilities.  As a result, we are seeing today that physical inactivity is responsible for an estimated 1 in 10 deaths each year.  Many chronic diseases stemming from physical inactivity, including diabetes, can be delayed, prevented or controlled through a number of modest lifestyle changes such as standing up and moving for five minutes every 60 minutes in the workplace. 
   
Designating a National Get Vertical Day would encourage Americans – especially adults – to incorporate physical activity in their workday so that they may live healthier and more productive lives.  Participating in “active” workplace events, such as walking lunches, standing phone calls and interactive meetings all are minor behavioral alterations that can have profound health impacts.  Indeed, walking 10,000 steps a day leads to a 90% reduction in heart attacks, a 30 to70% reduction in cancer rates, a 50% reduction in type 2 diabetes and a 70% reduction in strokes.

If you would like to become an original co-sponsor of this resolution, please contact Jonathan Halpern on my staff at jonathan.halpern@mail.house.govThe deadline to become an original co-sponsor is June 26, 2014.

    With kind regards, I am

                            Sincerely,

                            Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.
                            Member of Congress

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