It’s well-known that physical movement and productivity are linked. But new research suggests the benefits of fitness extend far beyond an individual’s health — it has the potential to boost the world economy. That’s right, you’re now economically obliged to workout.
Findings from the health insurance group Vitality and RAND Europe suggest that packing in an extra 15 minutes of daily walking, or jogging a steady one kilometer each day could extend life expectancy, in turn promoting economic growth. The economic improvement would be a result of lower mortality rates, allowing people to commit more years on the job.
According to the study, if every adult between ages 18 and 64 walked an extra 15 minutes a day, the world economic production would see an increase of about $100 billion, on a year by year basis.
The study also bodes well for people over the age of 40 who have yet to adopt a fitness regimen; introducing 20 minutes of jogging every day could award them an extra 3.2 years of life. The study collected data from almost 120,000 people across seven countries. Another recent study found that any amount of running at all decreases premature death risk.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that all adults should get at least 50 minutes of moderate exercise a week. In a report last year, only 40% of Americans achieved this goal. If jogging isn’t your forte, luckily there are manifold ways to get those minutes of cardio activity in, including low-impact sports such as swimming, as Harvard researchers suggest.
On a national level, it seems we have a lot of work to do — if not for ourselves, for the future financial prowess of the country.