Individuals’ physical inactivity costs $67.5 billion per year globally, a study by researchers at the University of Sydney has found.
In what is the first study to quantify the worldwide economic costs of not getting sufficient exercise, published in the scientific journal The Lancet, the largest portion, over 40 percent of the total, ($27.8 billion) comes from the U.S. This highlights the gap between high- and low-income countries.’
“After decades of research, we now have established knowledge about how physical inactivity contributes to premature deaths and chronic diseases, but the economic burden of physical inactivity remains unquantified at the global level. Through estimating the economic burden of physical inactivity for the first time, we hope to create a business case for investing in cost-effective actions to promote physical activity at the global levels.”
Ding and her colleagues analysed 2013 data from 142 countries, studying five major non-communicable diseases which could be reduced by exercise.
The researchers calculated direct costs of healthcare at about $54 billion. Indirect costs, such as lost productivity due to early death, ere pegged at a further $13.7 billion.
The title of most costly disease went to type 2 diabetes, which was deemed to be responsible for $37.6 billion annually in direct costs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Only one in three U.S. adults gets the recommended amount of physical activity per week, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition estimates. Regular physical activity decreases the risk of obesity and chronic diseases, controls weight, reduces blood pressure, and improves blood glucose and cholesterol control.
Physical activity also reduces feelings of depression and anxiety and promotes psychological well-being.
According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition:
Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week