Public Health

Posted on: March 24, 2015

Iowa Senate Gives Iowans More Options for Physical Activity through Community Use Legislation

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Senate approved legislation 48-0 that will open more schoolhouse doors for exercise and recreational activities. HF 570 removes barriers to use of school property by clarifying liability protection for schools.

Studies show when people have access to exercise facilities they are more likely to be physically active. Many schools are reluctant to open their facilities to their communities because liability concerns are a primary challenge to open these doors. A recent survey of Iowa’s superintendents demonstrated more than half of the schools surveyed do not engage in shared use agreements because of concerns about liability. It should be noted that 64.2 percent of the surveyed superintendents would be more inclined to open their facilities with liability protection.

“I am pleased that Iowa legislators see schools as part of community efforts for citizens to be healthy and active,” said Stacy Frelund, Government Relations Director - Iowa for the American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate. “Schools in Iowa have shown great interest in working with the community to open doors for more recreational activities.”

The bill now goes to Governor Branstad. For more information about the community use initiative, visit www.healthieriowa.com or contact Frelund at (515) 246-4563.

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