The Cost Savings of Physical Activity: Impact of the Fitness Industry

The Cost Savings of Physical Activity: Impact of the Fitness Industry
By Fitness Industry Council of Canada

By Fitness Industry Council of Canada

Visiting a fitness facility can save Canada billions of dollars in healthcare costs. Access to exercise as a medical expense would create a healthier country. Therefore, making the fitness industry a vital part the healthcare solution.

  • In a report from Sheffield University and UK data firm 4Global, researchers found that physical activity provided 23.4 billion dollars in health savings in Canada.1
  • In a report produced by Deloitte in June 2021, the direct financial impact of the Canadian Health and Fitness Sector on the national GDP was more than $CDN 4 billion dollars.2
  • Economically, in 2021 the fitness industry in Canada had a direct value added of US$1.7 billion and supported an indirect value added of US $1.4 billion.3
  • The Canadian fitness industry directly supports 83,200 jobs and indirectly supports an additional 20,800 jobs.4
  • In 2019, over 2.2 million cases of health conditions were prevented as a direct result of sport and physical activity – including over 600,000 cases each of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and depression.5
  • Inactivity costs the healthcare system in Canada CDN 5.2 billion, of which $3.6 billion is borne by the public health system.6
  • At the same time productivity loss due to a lack of sufficient activity was valued at CND $10.5 billion.7
  • Each insufficiently active worker costs the Canadian economy approximately $2068 in healthcare costs and lost productivity.8
  • An investment of $2000 in helping an inactive person become active results in a payback period of less than one year.9
  • According to the November 2021 World Health Report, in Canada, 26 per cent of men and 31 per cent of women aged 18 and over aren’t getting the recommended hours of physical activity. In addition, 71 percent of Canadian boys and 82 percent of girls aged 11 to 17 aren’t meeting minimum physical activity guidelines.10
  • The global status report on physical activity, published by the WHO estimates that nearly 500 million people around the world will develop new cases of heart disease, obesity, diabetes or other non-communicable diseases attributable to sedentary lifestyles between 2020 and 2030.11
  • Under the current trajectory, the health-care costs due to poorer mental health outcomes and diseases linked to physical inactivity are estimated to reach $CND400 billion by 2030,or CND $36 billion per year.12
  • Canada’s share of these costs is expected to total $CDN 6 billion by 2030 or CND $561 million annually.13

Table 2: Health valuation of sport and physical activity in Canada, 2019

Health valuation of sport and physical activity

1 The Impact of Our Sector: A Health Valuation of Sport and Physical Activity in Canada. August 2022.

2 Economic Health & Societal Well-being: Quantifying the Impact of the Global Health & Fitness Sector Global Report , June 2022

3 Economic Health & Societal Well-being: Quantifying the Impact of the Global Health & Fitness Sector Global Report , June 2022

4 Economic Health & Societal Well-being: Quantifying the Impact of the Global Health & Fitness Sector Global Report , June 2022

5 The Impact of Our Sector: A Health Valuation of Sport and Physical Activity in Canada. August 2022.

6 WHO Physical Activity Country Profile 2022 Canada

7 Economic Health & Societal Well-being: Quantifying the Impact of the Global Health & Fitness Sector Global Report , June 2022

8 Economic Health & Societal Well-being: Quantifying the Impact of the Global Health & Fitness Sector Global Report , June 2022

9 Economic Health & Societal Well-being: Quantifying the Impact of the Global Health & Fitness Sector Global Report , June 2022

10 CTV Physical Inactivity Costs Canada US $421 million annually: WHO

11 WHO Physical Activity Country Profile 2022 Canada

12 WHO highlights the cost of inactivity.

13 WHO highlights the cost of inactivity.

Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) is the not-for profit trade association that represents the voice of fitness facility operators across Canada. Representing more than 6,000 facilities with more than six-million members nationwide, FIC pursues a legislative agenda in the hope of bettering the fitness industry for both consumers and operators. FIC aims to work with both industry and government to improve the health and physical activity levels of Canadians.

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