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The economic benefits of reducing physical inactivity : an Australian example

Cadilhac, Dominique A., Cumming, Toby B., Sheppard, Lauren, Pearce, Dora C., Carter, Rob and Magnus, Anne 2011, The economic benefits of reducing physical inactivity : an Australian example, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 8, no. 99, pp. 1-8.

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Title The economic benefits of reducing physical inactivity : an Australian example
Author(s) Cadilhac, Dominique A.
Cumming, Toby B.
Sheppard, Lauren
Pearce, Dora C.
Carter, Rob
Magnus, Anne
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 8
Issue number 99
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1479-5868
Summary Background: Physical inactivity has major impacts on health and productivity. Our aim was to estimate the health and economic benefits of reducing the prevalence of physical inactivity in the 2008 Australian adult population. The economic benefits were estimated as ‘opportunity cost savings’, which represent resources utilized in the treatment of preventable disease that are potentially available for re-direction to another purpose from fewer incident cases of disease occurring in communities.
Methods: Simulation models were developed to show the effect of a 10% feasible, reduction target for physical inactivity from current Australian levels (70%). Lifetime cohort health benefits were estimated as fewer incident cases of inactivity-related diseases; deaths; and Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) by age and sex. Opportunity costs were estimated as health sector cost impacts, as well as paid and unpaid production gains and leisure impacts from fewer disease events associated with reduced physical inactivity. Workforce production gains were estimated by comparing surveyed participation and absenteeism rates of physically active and inactive adults, and valued using the friction cost approach. The impact of an improvement in health status on unpaid household production and leisure time were modeled from time use survey data, as applied to the exposed and non-exposed population subgroups and valued by suitable proxy. Potential costs associated with interventions to increase physical activity were not included. Multivariable uncertainty analyses and univariate sensitivity analyses were undertaken to provide information on the strength of the conclusions.
Results: A 10% reduction in physical inactivity would result in 6,000 fewer incident cases of disease, 2,000 fewer deaths, 25,000 fewer DALYs and provide gains in working days (114,000), days of home-based production (180,000) while conferring a AUD96 million reduction in health sector costs. Lifetime potential opportunity cost savings in workforce production (AUD12 million), home-based production (AUD71 million) and leisure-based production (AUD79 million) was estimated (total AUD162 million 95% uncertainty interval AUD136 million, AUD196 million).
Conclusions: Opportunity cost savings and health benefits conservatively estimated from a reduction in population-level physical inactivity may be substantial. The largest savings will benefit individuals in the form of unpaid production and leisure gains, followed by the health sector, business and government.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 110602 Exercise Physiology
Socio Economic Objective 920207 Health Policy Economic Outcomes
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, BioMed Central Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30038870

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Population Health
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.