E very £1 spent on physical activity in England generates £3.91, according to a study by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University.
According to the report, Social and economic value of community sport and physical activity in England, commissioned by Sport England, the social and economic benefits created by physical activity and community sport each year are worth £85.5bn.
Researchers also showed how investment in exercise creates a return across health and social care and also helps build stronger communities and develop skills in the population.
An additional £13bn of economic value is also being created through fitness and sports-related goods and services annually.
Supporting mental health
Physical activity also plays an important role in easing the burden on the National Health Service by preventing a number of serious physical and mental health conditions.
The study estimates that exercise provides savings of £5.2bn in healthcare and another £1.7bn in social care costs – including £450m that’s being saved by preventing the need for an additional 30 million GP visits.
“This new research provides evidence that can help local authorities, businesses and the voluntary sector to understand the value of promoting activity, especially as it will play an important part in helping the nation to recover from the challenges 2020 has brought,” said Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England.
“In keeping with a key government priority, this report also highlights how exercise and physical activity has a pivotal role to play in levelling up communities by bridging the gap between the ‘haves and have nots’,” he said.
“We would encourage organisations to use this research to better understand the impact that being active can have on the lives of individuals and communities, the delivery of public services and our economy.”
The report comes ahead of the Great British Week of Sport – taking place from 19 to 27 September – which is designed to celebrate the value of sport and physical activity to UK communities and includes the World United campaign and National Fitness Day.
The campaign is organised in partnership by ukactive, Sport England, the UK Government and the European Commission and will showcase a variety of sports and activities.
Get the report at www.HCMmag.com/economic