Physical Activity: Good for the Body. Good for the Wallet?
March 6, 2017
Most people know that physical activity is good for your health, but most people don’t know that improving physical activity can also boost their financial health and their community’s well-being.
In a study released in 2008, the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) revealed that “a small strategic investment in disease prevention could result in significant savings in U.S. healthcare costs.” The report, entitled Prevention for a Healthier America: Investments in Disease Prevention Yield Significant Savings, Stronger Communities, TFAH determined that, within five years, the U.S. could save over $16 billion per year by investing $10 per person in community-based programs focused on improving nutrition, reducing smoking, and increasing physical activity. This translates into a return of $5.60 for every $1.00 invested.
As rising healthcare costs continue to be a topic of discussion and concern for many Americans, the results of this study are encouraging. Of the $16 billion that could be saved by implementing these programs, Medicare could save $5 billion, Medicaid could save $1.9 billion and private payers could save over $9 billion. That’s a significant savings from a fairly simple concept. The idea behind these programs is that by implementing three key lifestyle changes – improving nutrition, decreasing smoking, and increasing physical activity – the likelihood of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney and heart disease, some forms of cancer, and arthritis is greatly reduced. In addition to improving the quality of life for many Americans, these programs would, over time, provide a significant savings in healthcare costs for both public and private payers.
Our goal for Civic Park is to provide everyone in our community with the space and opportunity to increase their physical activity. Making this single lifestyle change will make our community healthier, both physically and economically.
For more information on the study conducted by TFAH, visit http://healthyamericans.org/reports/prevention08/