Moving Ahead: The Economic Impact of Reducing Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behaviour
By meeting the official physical activity and sedentary guidelines, Canadians can live a longer and healthier life, which has positive implications for the economy, government finances, and labour force productivity.
Bounajm, Fares, Dinh, Thy, and Thériault, Louis. (2014). Moving Ahead: The Economic Impact of Reducing Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behaviour. Ottawa: The Conference Board of Canada.
Canadians are not only physically inactive; they also spend much of their time in a sedentary state. Even small enhancements to physical activity levels and a reduction in sedentary behaviour create positive implications on the economy, government finances, and labour force productivity. These findings build a strong case for action on the part of the public, government, and employers.
The first in the research series “Moving Ahead: Healthy Active Living in Canada”, this analysis shows that by simply getting 10 per cent of Canadians with suboptimal levels of physical activity to exercise more and reduce sedentary behaviour—starting in 2015—GDP will increase by nearly $1.6 billion by 2040.
Along with this boost will be a cumulative $2.6 billion reduction in health care spending on hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Additionally, employers will benefit from reduced staff turnover, short-term disability costs, and absenteeism rates.