Interview with Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America
Written by: Staff on 5th September 2013
Introduction: Jim Baugh, a lifelong tennis industry professional, founded PHIT America in January 2013. He was inducted into Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame in 2011 and is the former President of Wilson Sporting Goods. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) and GOLF 20/20 Executive Committee. He’s held similar roles with the Tennis Industry Association and United States Tennis Association.
Q: What is the primary goal of the organization?
A: Our main objective is to create “A Movement for a Fit and Healthy America” by educating men, women and children about the importance of an active lifestyle to improve overall health. Around 192 million Americans are not active to healthy standards and it’s our mission to get them headed in the right direction.
Q: What is being done in Washington, D.C. to inform Congressional leaders about the inactivity and obesity crisis?A: PHIT America supports two pieces of legislation crucial to increasing the number of healthy Americans. When passed, the Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT) will allow people to use pre-tax medical accounts for physical activity expenses. The Physical Education Program (PEP) is an 11-year Federal grant from the Department of Education for schools to rebuild health and fitness programs.
The program initiates weight loss and promotes active lifestyles through group fitness activities. This includes participation in complimentary or reduced-rate exercise classes and regular weigh-ins to track overall progress. The 110 individuals who finished the challenge in 2011 lost an average of 15.5 pounds and learned valuable lessons to maintain a dynamic routine.
About PHIT America
Founded in January 2013, PHIT America and its 130-plus sponsors are responding to the inactivity and obesity crisis by leading “A Movement for a Fit and Healthy America.” PHIT America promotes grass-roots fitness and sports initiatives, including development of high-quality physical education (PE) programs in schools. Recent Physical Activity Council research shows children in PE are three to four times more likely to be active outside of school.
• Physical Education Program (PEP) – An 11-year program supports local physical education programs throughout America.
Both the PHIT Act and PEP Program will help mitigate rising health care costs by causing Americans to develop more active lifestyles.