With over 20 years working in consulting, health and fitness, and healthcare, Dr. Amy Bantham’s passion became clear — helping others live healthier, longer, and more active lives.
Encouraged to create a world where physical activity was enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, Dr. Bantham launched Move to Live More, a research and consulting firm dedicated to helping people live longer, healthier, and more active lives working at the intersection of healthcare, health and fitness, and communities.
“I launched Move to Live More as part of my doctoral project,” Dr. Bantham said. “I was very intentional in focusing my company’s mission and vision on knocking down silos and finding solutions to problems through cross-sector collaboration and innovation.”
Discovering her love for fitness came at an early age for Dr. Bantham. After years of running track during middle school and high school, Dr. Bantham’s love for fitness grew more prevalent in college while attending group fitness classes. She stood out amongst her peers and was often praised and encouraged to teach her own classes; it was then things shifted into focus for Dr. Bantham, igniting her career in public health.
After becoming a certified group exercise instructor in 1996, Dr. Bantham worked for years as a management consultant while teaching group fitness sessions during her lunch breaks. Dr. Bantham always wanted to be in a position where she spent meaningful hours of her day impacting the lives of others through health and fitness. Combining her two passions and expertise in public policy and health promotion, Dr. Bantham joined the e Global Health and Fitness Industry Trade Association in 2006, rising to Vice President of Health Promotion and Health Policy during her 11 years there.
For 11 years, Dr. Bantham focused on health and fitness centers opening their doors to people with chronic diseases and disabilities. In this role, Dr. Bantham led the development of health promotion strategies, products, and initiatives that raised the visibility of the fitness industry as a solution to the physical inactivity and obesity crisis. The #WhyGetActive campaign is a testament to that work that reached an outstanding 2.1 million people.
Wanting to do more centered around at-risk populations, Dr. Bantham decided to return to school to get her doctorate in Public Health at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This was a decision that would later better prepare Dr. Bantham in launching Move to Live More in January 2020.
In addition to her own projects, Dr. Bantham partners with other organizations, such as local and state governments, nonprofit organizations, for-profit health and fitness centers, and other various foundations. Dr. Bantham specifically works with organizations that provide exercise and fitness programming for all ages and health spans geared toward creative ways to get people to move more.
Dr. Bantham also became involved with the Physical Activity Alliance, a coalition of 17 organizations that focuses on systems and policy change to get people more active. Dr. Bantham is aware that kids today are more sedentary than ever before, which in her opinion, has led to a rise in childhood obesity and other health-related issues within communities. To help combat and alleviate these health concerns, Dr. Bantham has sought to create programs that would inspire kids to be more active for at least 60 minutes a day.
Research indicates that 80 percent of Americans between the ages of 17 to 24 are unfit for military service. Dr. Bantham’s critical work in public health and fitness has become more valuable to the United States military sector through instilling healthy habits in kids while promoting mental, social, and emotional health through exercise and movement that will help overall readiness and preventative disease in our nation.
Visit the website here for more information on Move To Live More.
Photo credits: Courtesy of Dr. Amy Bantham, Move To Live More's Facebook, IHRSA - the Global Health & Fitness Association (photographer: Lisa Helfert)