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PHYSICAL INACTIVITY’s GLOBAL COST: NEARLY $70 BILLION

PHYSICAL INACTIVITY’s GLOBAL COST: NEARLY $70 BILLION

"There is minimal evidence that physical activity is improving worldwide."

SILVER SPRING, MD – August 9, 2016 – “The world needs to get serious about physical activity.”  Those are the words of advice from international researchers Pedro C. Hallal and Ding Ding, whose article on the issue of global physical inactivity appeared in the most recent edition of The Lancet newsletter.  Hallal’s and Ding’s observationsLancet logo about the global cost of physical inactivity have a big price tag:  at least $67.5 billion.  That’s the cost of global healthThe Lancet care expenditures and productivity losses caused by physical inactivity, according to Hallal and Ding.

“It’s unfortunate that we at PHIT America are publicizing the financial impact of global physical inactivity while the world is celebrating the summer Olympic Games in Brazil, where the world is applauding the efforts of those who are physically active and fit,” says Jim Baugh, Founder, PHIT America.

What’s troublesome is that in 2012, research published in The Lancet indicated that 5.3 million global deaths were attributed to physical inactivity.  Recent research published in the current edition of The Lancet indicates that in the last four years, global rates of physical activity have not improved.

“There is minimal evidence that physical activity is improving worldwide,” notes Professor Fiona Bull, President, International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH).

Professor Bull is troubled to see that global rates of physical inactivity are not declining, despite the following findings:

  1. new research reveals that national health care costs are rising due to physical inactivity;
  2. regular physical activity protects against cognitive decline; and
  3. there are additional health risks associated with excessive time spent sitting.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has a stated goal of reducing physical inactivity by 10 percent by 2015, but it appears that objective will not be met unless there’s a greater financial commitment from policy makers in government around the world, as well as assistance from the private sector.

Despite the gloom and doom forecast of global physical activity, Hallal and Ding remain cautiously optimistic about a global wake-up call on the issue of physical activity.

“We must continue to strive towards the longer term goal: the integration of physical activity into our daily lives,” conclude Hallal and Ding.