So maybe you donít care about exercise. Maybe you donít care
about eating right. Maybe you donít care about following any
established recommendations for living a long, healthy life.
But do you care about your wallet?
Previous research has suggested that $4.3 to $5.6 billion
could be saved annually if 10% of inactive adults began doing
one simple thing on a consistent basis: walking. Examining
this potential cost savings further, the authors of a study
in Physician and Sportsmedicine compared direct medical
expenses (for a single calendar year: 1987) of active vs.
inactive men and women, using actual medical expenditures
from 35,000 U.S. consumers from 14,000 households.
Individuals reporting at least 30 minutes of moderate or
strenuous physical activity three times or more per week were
classified as physically active; those who reported less weekly
activity were classified as inactive. Results showed that:
- Average direct medical costs were substantially lower
in the active group vs. the inactive group ($1,242 vs. $2,277).
- Overall, active individuals reported less hospital stays,
physician visits, and use of medications, with major savings
derived from lower hospitalization costs ($391 for active,
$613 for inactive).
- Physical activity saved $330 dollars per person, equating
to $29.2 billion in 1987. Calculated to the present dollar
value, this equals $76.6 billion in the year 2000 alone!
Pratt M, Macera CA, Wang G. Higher direct medical costs associated
with physical inactivity. The Physician and Sportsmedicine,
Oct. 2000: Vol. 28, No. 10, pp1-11.
For more information on fitness and athletic conditioning,
go to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/sports.html