Queen's University

Physical inactivity a $6.8 billion annual burden to Canadians

 
2012-06-06

Physical inactivity in Canada is causing severe problems for both the physical and financial health of Canadians. According to the Queen’s study, inactivity in Canadian adults is costing the taxpayers $6.8 billion per year, representing 3.8 per cent of total health care costs in Canada.

 “The proportion of the population who are inactive has reached an all-time high,” says Kinesiology and Health Studies professor Ian Janssen who is also the Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Obesity. “In fact, 85 per cent of Canadian adults do not engage in sufficient amounts of physical activity. These high inactivity levels have a substantial impact on the development of chronic disease in the population.”

Of the $6.8 billion in costs, $2.7 billion is attributed to treating coronary artery disease, $1.4 billion to type 2 diabetes and $1.1 billion to stroke. Dr. Janssen used a combination of public health and economic approaches to generate these figures.

The study, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada was published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.

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