Sport now saves 500 million euros per year in health costs
New research shows that playing sport and exercise prevents 97,000 cases of illness and mental health problems in Ireland.
A report from Sport Ireland and Sheffield Hallam University also shows that sport represents 3.7 billion euros to the Irish economy and that participation has changed dramatically over the past decade.
He estimates that exercising and playing sports has enormous financial and health benefits for society, saving 500 million euros in health costs in 2019. Even taking into account sports-related injuries, participation and exercise saved 400 million euros in health care costs.
The report, launched tomorrow by Sports Minister Jack Chambers, details the number of cases of physical and mental health problems averted in 2019 through participation in sport and exercise.
He found that the health effects of exercise prevented nearly 65,000 cases of physical health problems in the year leading up to the pandemic.
These included more than 32,000 cases of back pain and 22,306 cases of type 2 diabetes.
Exercise is credited with preventing more than 9,400 cases of heart disease or stroke, while the report also found that the health benefits have prevented hundreds of cases of breast cancer, breast cancer. colon and hip fractures. He said this amounted to savings of over € 270 million in healthcare costs.
Mental health benefits were also measured. The report states that sport and exercise have helped prevent nearly 27,000 cases of depression and more than 5,000 cases of dementia. However, other gains can be made.
“Beyond these monetized estimates, there is emerging scientific evidence that highlights the health benefits associated with physical activity during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the report says.
“Although it has not been possible to assess these health benefits in the same way as noncommunicable diseases, they provide further evidence of the importance of promoting regular physical activity in the general population. and integrate it into routine medical care to mitigate the impact of pandemics.
“This report also shows that sport and physical activity have a measurable and substantial impact on the physical and mental health of participants in Ireland who meet national guidelines for physical activity (over 150 minutes per week).
“It is expected that the value of the health benefits could rise further to over 500 million euros if the proportion of Irish adults undertaking the recommended level of activity increases from 34 to 45 per cent.”
The report revealed that sport represents 3.7 billion euros for the economy. The Irish spent € 3.3 billion on sports-related goods and services in 2018, with spending increasing since the financial crash. Sports accounted for 3.1% of all consumer spending in 2018, up from 2% in 2008.
“In addition, sport-related employment has grown at a faster rate than overall employment growth in Ireland and, since 2008, at a faster rate than the GVA (gross value added) of sport, highlighting the role of sport and physical activity in creating and sustaining jobs and production, ”wrote the author of the report.
Sport accounted for more than 64,000 jobs in 2018, or nearly 3% of all jobs.
A research survey of sport participation found that almost half of people (46 percent) over the age of 16 regularly participate in sport, up from 31 percent in 2008.
It reveals that there is a movement towards individual sports with a reduction in participation in team sports.
Personal exercise, which mainly consists of activities in the gym, represents 16% of athletes practiced, against 6% in 2008.
A lower percentage of people play football now (3pc) compared to 2008, when 5pc of survey respondents were playing.
Rugby and hurling are out of the top 10 sporting activities, while football remains at 2 percent.
Swimming, running, cycling, yoga, and dancing all gained popularity during this time.