According to the World Health Organization (www.who.int) insufficient physical activity is recognised as one of the leading risk factors for death, posing a global public health problem.
Globally, it is estimated that every year, physical inactivity is associated with more than 5 million deaths and is contributing to global healthcare expenditures, as well as lost productivity. While many countries have developed national action plans to tackle growing prevalence of physical inactivity, gaps challenges persist with their implementation, often associated with an uncoordinated or underfunded approach.
Physical inactivity is associated with the onset of a number of different diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer (e.g. breast or colon). The lack of active routines in people’s lives is also associated with a mortality and morbidity burden. A healthy population has a positive effect on a country’s economic output (e.g. measured as gross domestic product). Reducing physical inactivity has a positive effect on a country’s labour force by reducing premature mortality and improving rates of sickness absence and levels of presenteeism. We believe the implications of this study can be far-reaching, informing policy around the world on issues of public health and state budgets.
Adrian Gore, Discovery Group Chief Executive, says; “This ground-breaking study provides proof of the relationship between exercise, productivity, mortality and economic growth. It strengthens our resolve to continue to encourage people to move more and become part of a global health movement.”