BOSTON, MA—October 22, 2020—The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and the Medical Fitness Association (MFA) have formed a strategic partnership with a common goal of promoting exercise as a primary prevention tool and cost effective treatment option for people with chronic illnesses.

As the coronavirus pandemic lingers, the health and fitness industry continues to provide physical activity guidelines to the public to help them maintain or improve their overall health.

The objective of IHRSA and MFA’s partnership is to promote the:

  • importance of physical activity for public health,
  • impact of lifestyle management on overall health, and
  • effectiveness and cost efficiency of exercise to prevent and treat chronic disease.

“This partnership is a great example of the collaborative possibilities with like-minded organizations,” said Brent Darden, interim president and CEO of IHRSA. “The overarching goal of revising the trend of obesity, physical inactivity, and unfulfilled well-being will only be achieved through united efforts and collective influence. We believe that forging a strong relationship with the Medical Fitness Association will help position the health and fitness industry as a crucial part of the healthcare continuum.”

With the formation of the partnership, MFA has written to members of Congress in support of the Health & Fitness Recovery Act of 2020 (H.R. 8485) and requested its members do the same. Both MFA and IHRSA have also agreed—but are not limited—to:

  • Work together to identify opportunities for cross marketing, create joint position papers and policy statements, grassroots lobbying outreach, and press releases.
  • Recruit subject-matter experts to serve on committees, education panels, and provide educational content and speakers at conferences/webinars.
  • Collaborate in the promotion of continuing education, trade shows, conventions, conferences, and other relevant meetings.
  • Participate in activities, conferences, committees, and Fellowship where applicable.

“MFA is excited about working with IHRSA to develop a unified message to the public and policy makers around the importance and impact of exercise, good nutrition, and ongoing support for people trying to improve their health by managing their lifestyle,” said Bob Boone, president and CEO of the Medical Fitness Association. “We hope to help people realize that actively managing their lifestyle habits is a big step in maintaining or improving their overall health and quality of life. This newly formed relationship with IHRSA will allow us to better utilize our individual resources for the public good.”


IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, is a not-for-profit trade association representing the global fitness industry of over 200,000 health and fitness facilities and their suppliers.

IHRSA maintains a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to peak health and fighting the battle against obesity and chronic lifestyle disease. IHRSA’s mission is to grow, promote, and protect the health and fitness industry, while providing its members with benefits and resources. IHRSA and its members are devoted to making the world happier, healthier, and more prosperous through regular exercise and activity promotion.

About the Medical Fitness Association

The Medical Fitness Association, a non-profit organization, was formed in 1991 to assist medically integrated health and fitness centers achieve their full potential. The Association is a professional membership organization whose mission is to foster opportunities for the development and operational success of medically integrated fitness centers. The pioneers in the medical fitness industry believe the future of hospitals and other wellness and fitness organizations is in improving the health status of the communities they serve. Preventing disease is the key to the future.