The economic burden of physical inactivity: a global analysis of major non-communicable diseases

Ding, Ding and Lawson, Kenny D. and Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy L. and Finkelstein, Eric A. and Katzmarzyk, Peter T. and van Mechelen, Willem and Pratt, Michael (2016) The economic burden of physical inactivity: a global analysis of major non-communicable diseases. The Lancet , 388 (10051). pp. 1311-1324. ISSN 0140-6736

Abstract

Background The pandemic of physical inactivity is associated with a range of chronic diseases and early deaths. Despite the well documented disease burden, the economic burden of physical inactivity remains unquantifi ed at the global level. A better understanding of the economic burden could help to inform resource prioritisation and motivate efforts to increase levels of physical activity worldwide. Methods Direct health-care costs, productivity losses, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) attributable to physical inactivity were estimated with standardised methods and the best data available for 142 countries, representing 93·2% of the world’s population. Direct health-care costs and DALYs were estimated for coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer attributable to physical inactivity. Productivity losses were estimated with a friction cost approach for physical inactivity related mortality. Analyses were based on national physical inactivity prevalence from available countries, and adjusted population attributable fractions (PAFs) associated with physical inactivity for each disease outcome and all-cause mortality. Findings conservatively estimated, physical inactivity cost health-care systems international $ (INT$) 53·8 billion worldwide in 2013, of which $31·2 billion was paid by the public sector, $12·9 billion by the private sector, and $9·7 billion by households. In addition, physical inactivity related deaths contribute to $13·7 billion in productivity losses, and physical inactivity was responsible for 13·4 million DALYs worldwide. High-income countries bear a larger proportion of economic burden (80·8% of health-care costs and 60·4% of indirect costs), whereas low-income and middle-income countries have a larger proportion of the disease burden (75·0% of DALYs). Sensitivity analyses based on less conservative assumptions led to much higher estimates. Interpretation In addition to morbidity and premature mortality, physical inactivity is responsible for a substantial economic burden. This paper provides further justifi cation to prioritise promotion of regular physical activity worldwide as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce non-communicable diseases.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This publication was recognised by the American Heart Association as one of 'the most impactful publications in lifestyle and cardio-metabolic health in 2016'. Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2017 04:18
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 06:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: physical inactivity; non-communicable diseases
Fields of Research : 14 Economics > 1499 Other Economics > 149999 Economics not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919999 Economic Framework not elsewhere classified
C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30383-X
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30800

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