Economic burden of low physical activity and high sedentary behaviour in Finland
Kolu, P., Kari, J. T., Raitanen, J., Sievänen, H., Tokola, K., Havas, E., Pehkonen, J., Tammelin, T. H., Pahkala, K., Hutri-Kähönen, N., Raitakari, O. T., & Vasankari, T. (2022). Economic burden of low physical activity and high sedentary behaviour in Finland. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 76(7), 677-684. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2021-217998
Published inJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
DisciplinePolitiikkarelevantti taloustiede (painoala)TaloustiedeEmpirical MicroeconomicsBasic or discovery scholarshipPolicy-Relevant Economics (focus area)EconomicsEmpirical MicroeconomicsBasic or discovery scholarship
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Published by BMJ.
Background Low physical activity and high sedentary behaviour are unquestionably relevant for public health while also increasing direct and indirect costs. Methods The authors examined the direct and indirect costs attributable to low physical activity and high sedentary behaviour in Finland in 2017. Costs related to major non-communicable diseases drawn from Finnish registries covered direct costs (outpatient visits, days of inpatient care, medication and institutional eldercare) and indirect costs (sickness-related absences, disability pensions, unemployment benefits, all-cause mortality and losses of income tax revenue). Prevalences of low physical activity and high sedentary behaviour (≥8 hours per 16 waking hours) were based on self-reports among adolescents or accelerometer data among adults and the elderly from three Finnish population studies: FINFIT 2017, Health 2011 and the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. Cost calculations used adjusted population attributable fractions (PAF) and regression models. Total annual costs were obtained by multiplying PAF by the total costs of the given disease. Results The total costs of low physical activity in Finland in 2017 came to approximately €3.2 billion, of which direct costs accounted for €683 million and indirect ones for €2.5 billion. Costs attributable to high sedentary behaviour totalled roughly €1.5 billion. Conclusion The findings suggest that low physical activity and high sedentary behaviour levels create substantial societal costs. Therefore, actions intended to increase physical activity and reduce excessive sedentary behaviour throughout life may yield not only better health but also considerable savings to society. ...
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- Kauppakorkeakoulu 
Additional information about fundingThe Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study has been financially supported by the Academy of Finland, with grants 322098, 286284, 134309 (Eye), 126925, 121584, 124282, 129378 (Salve), 117787 (GENDI) and 41071 (SKIDI); the Social Insurance Institution of Finland; Competitive State Research Financing of the expert‑responsibility area of the Kuopio, Tampere and Turku university hospitals (grant agreement X51001); the Juho Vainio Foundation; the Paavo Nurmi Foundation; the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research; the Finnish Cultural Foundation; the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation; Tampere Tuberculosis Foundation; the Emil Aaltonen Foundation; the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation; the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation; Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation; the Diabetes Research Foundation of the Finnish Diabetes Association; EU Horizon 2020 (grant agreement 755320, for TAXINOMISIS); the European Research Council (grant agreement 742927, for the MULTIEPIGEN project); and the Tampere University Hospital Support Foundation. The FINFIT 2017 and Health 2011 studies were financed by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland (320400). ...
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