Congressional Physical Activity Challenge Shows Legislators the Importance of Exercise

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and his office staff won the 2022 Congressional Physical Activity Challenge, according to a June 23 announcement from the Physical Activity Alliance and Myzone.

The Congressional Physical Activity Challenge is an annual, month-long competition between the offices of the U.S. Congress to see who can be the most physically active. The challenge helps educate members of Congress and their staffs about the importance of physical activity, according to the Physical Activity Alliance, which sponsored the challenge in a partnership with Myzone.

Competitors used the MZ-Switch heart rate monitor to log their physical activity.

The Burr team also won last year’s competition. The team took the titles for Total Team MEPs (137,395 MEPs) and getting the most staff participants (30 people) across the line for the World Health Organization’s guidelines for physical activity, equating to 1300 MEPs.

The two other winners were Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), whose office won the award for highest average MEPS at 9,149, and Logan Sicker of Rep. Michael Cloud’s office (R-TX) for top individual point earner at 25,278 MEPS.

“The Physical Activity Alliance salutes the winners and all the offices and individuals who participated in this year’s Congressional Physical Activity Challenge,” Graham Melstrand, president of the Physical Activity Alliance, said in the announcement. “Their leadership highlights the importance of regular physical activity and the health and wellbeing benefits that are available to all of us. 

Through the competition, members of Congress and their staffs live the positive changes they are looking to implement, according to the announcement. Making policies that bring positive behavior change requires empathy and understanding that can only be fully appreciated through lived experience. By helping to educate Congress in the importance of physical activity, the challenge can help make the difference that will benefit Americans for decades to come, according to the Physical Activity Alliance.

For the second year in a row, Republican offices earned more MEPs than their Democratic colleagues, and the Senate offices exercised more than their counterparts in the House.

The non-profit Physical Activity Alliance is a community of physical activity advocates, researchers, academics, and practitioners guided by the National Physical Activity Plan to create, support and advocate for policy and system changes that enable all Americans to enjoy physically active lives.