Moving Ahead: The Economic Impact of Reducing Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behaviour

The Conference Board of Canada, 40 pages, October 24, 2014
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It’s not enough to be physically active. Limiting the number of waking hours spent in a sedentary state is also important. This briefing—the first in the research series “Moving Ahead: Healthy Active Living in Canada”—finds that even a modest improvement can yield tangible benefits to individuals, employers, and government.

Document Highlights

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.

In this briefing—the first in the research series “Moving Ahead: Healthy Active Living in Canada”—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.

These findings build a strong case for action on the part of the public, government, and employers.

You may also be interested in the webinar on this subject: Healthy Active Living: Is An Ounce of Prevention Worth a Pound of Cure? (December 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM EST) given by Thy Dinh

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