ACE(R) Gets Capitol Hill Moving With First Annual Congressional Staffer Fitness Challenge

SAN DIEGO, April 27, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As part of its mission to get America moving, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) sponsored its first-ever fitness challenge to see which Congressional office's staffers would claim the title of the most physically active in seven weeks. The ACE Congressional Staffer Fitness Challenge aims to promote a bipartisan focus to end America's chronic disease epidemic by encouraging physically active lifestyles.

"Our political leaders already have access to the facts and statistics on our nation's obesity epidemic. This fitness challenge offers those on Capitol Hill something else, the ability to feel the powerful benefits of physical activity themselves," says ACE President and CEO Scott Goudeseune. "We hope the experience helps our leaders understand that a healthy, physically active life is within every American's reach."

The challenge boasted both team and individual categories. More than 400 staffers and a handful of elected officials, from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, recorded and reported the steps they took each day. In order to qualify for team competition, at least 25 percent of the staff were required to participate. Nine teams had 100 percent participation.

The ACE Congressional Fitness Challenge winners are:

Team Challenge
1st: Team Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV): Average of 466,066 steps per person
2nd: Team Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID): Average of 439,346 steps per person
3rd: Team Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA): Average of 434,429 steps per person

Individual Challenge
Agriculture Policy Director Ginger Willson for Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE): 492,584 steps

Research Assistant Kenneth Clifford for Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL): 701,816 steps

"The excitement of ACE's Fitness Challenge pushed me to be more active, but I made it a point to adjust my lifestyle as well," said individual challenge winner Kenneth Clifford. "After the contest is over, I'm still enjoying more daily physical activity."

133 million Americans – 45% of the population – have at least one chronic disease. Treatment of these chronic diseases makes up 86 percent of our nation's healthcare costs. Overwhelmingly, studies show that physical activity plays an important role in preventing and managing chronic disease. The solution to physical inactivity can be as simple as walking more. The easy access to and multi-functionality of walking make it a powerful tool in the mission to bring physically active, healthy lifestyles to all Americans.

As part of its effort to get Americans moving, ACE has launched walking toolkits, available for free online. The toolkits offer a variety of resources to help create a culture of health that values and supports walking as a fundamental physical activity. Toolkits are available for both community leaders and health and fitness professionals.

Throughout the month of April, representatives from ACE are calling on winners to distribute awards and recognitions and encouraged continued dedication to moving each day. Due to its success, influence and popularity, the challenge will become an annual event, reoccurring next in early 2017.
For more information on how the American Council on Exercise is helping end the obesity epidemic by 2035, please visit

About ACE

The nonprofit organization American Council on Exercise (ACE) educates, certifies and represents more than 60,000 currently certified fitness professionals, health coaches and other allied health professionals. ACE advocates for a new intersection of fitness and healthcare, bringing the highly qualified professionals ACE represents into the healthcare continuum so they can contribute to the national solution to physical inactivity and obesity. ACE is the largest certifier in its space and all four of its primary certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the gold standard in the United States for accreditation of certifications that assess professional competence. ACE also plays an important public-service role, conducting and providing science-based research and resources on safe and effective physical activity and sustainable behavior change. For more information, call 800-825-3636 or visit AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE, ACE and ACE logos are Registered Trademarks of the American Council on Exercise.

CONTACT: Kate Kelly (216) 406-6484

Source: American Council On Exercise (ACE)