The Social and Economic Impacts of Physical Inactivity

In today’s society we face a problem of an epidemic proportion that threatens the social and economic prosperity of the United Kingdom. What is it? People aren’t moving, specifically children. The health impacts of physical inactivity are vast with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and rickets growing, two diseases considered for the geriatric or part of history being present in children. The economic projection is bleak as physical inactivity costs billions of dollars with the estimated cost on government health care set to increase by more than double by 2030.


Sebastian Coe explains how the issue may be complex but solution I rather simple: “It is imperative that the next generation run, jump, swim, kick; frankly whatever it takes, to navigate their way to activity and realize their own personal potential. If that happens the world changes.”  He cites that the way to better emphasize the benefits of sports is to focus on schools where children spend most of their time but receive little guided physical activity as the main focus is on academia. Although this may seem like a sensible decision research shows that students receiving regular physical activity often get better results than those not.  The problem is entrenched within society as physical inactivity becomes the norm requiring a solution that has a multisector collaborative approach, with government and non-government organizations involved. It is time to act and inspire a generation.  

This article was a summary of the WFSGI Magazine Article ‘The Social and Economic Impacts of Physical Inactivity’. Author Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, CSM Sports & Entertainment, Olympic Gold Medallist (OpEd)

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