Pratt 2000 - "Higher Direct Medical Costs Associated with Physical Inactivity"

Pratt, Michael; Macera, Caroline A; Wang, Guijing
"Higher Direct Medical Costs Associated with Physical Inactivity"
The Physician and Sportsmedicine
October 2000; v.28, n.10; pp.63-70
On the Web
Relevance: medium

Using the 1987 National Medical Expenditures Survey, the authors estimate the costs of physical activity in the US. They conclude:

"The mean net annual benefit of physical activity [among people with no physical limitations] was $330 per person in 1987 dollars.  Our results suggest that increasing participation in regular moderate physical activity among the more than 88 million inactive Americans over the age of 15 might reduce annual national medical costs by as much as $29.2 billion in 1987 dollars--$76.6 billion in 2000 dollars."

Among all study subjects, the direct medical benefit of physical activity was $1,034.
Among people with no physical limitations, the benefit was $330.
Among people with physical limitations, the benefit was $1,053.
Among all current smokers, the benefit was $906.

"The majority of savings derived from lower hospitalization costs for physically active persons compared with inactive persons ($391 vs $613, P<0.01)."

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