It's no secret that physical activity is good for the mind and body, but did you know it can save us all money as well?
In the Active Lives survey (2019) conducted by the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing (ORSR), we measured the activity levels of the SA population to test if the 'active population' (South Australians recording 150 minutes or more activity per week), have different health, wellbeing and social outcomes compared to inactive populations.
The findings showed that the active population had better overall health, required fewer health services and used them less frequently compared to somewhat active and inactive South Australians.
Active South Australians were less likely to report using a hospital service (admission, ED or outpatient clinic) compared to those who did not do any physical activity and were also less likely to visit a specialist doctor.
Interestingly, active people were more likely to visit a dentist.
ORSR asked Health Economists to have a closer look at this research, and they found that on average, inactive South Australians consumed around $1,500 more in public health services a year. Even after controlling for age, income and gender, the conclusion held that there are significant savings to be made from a more active population.
Initial estimates suggest that during an adult’s lifetime, insufficient physical activity has the potential to cost the South Australian public health system an additional $86,366.
If every South Australian could do just 30 minutes of activity each day, and their health costs then matched that of the active population, the analysis shows we could save more than $800m annually in public health costs. These savings accrue not just once, but each and every year.
Physical activity is not only good for the health and wellbeing of all South Australians but good for the state’s economic outlook too.
So, let’s get active - Game On SA!