Our Collective Laziness Is Costing America Billions

Turns out you can put a price tag on couch potatoes

By Kirk Miller

 
Lazy
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29 July 2016

The real price of your laziness isn’t “having those extra 30 minutes in the morning.”

It’s $67.5 billion.

That’s according to scientific journal The Lancet, which just published a study that quantified how inactivity is damaging the world economy.

To come up with the “costs,” the study examined expenses, productivity losses and disability-adjusted life-years for five diseases related to inactivity: coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, breast cancer and colon cancer.

In turn, these numbers were divvied up by effects on the public via lost tax revenues, productivity losses, health insurance and out-of-pocket/household costs. It was also dissected by region — and yes, the U.S. of A was the worst offender, accounting for more than 40% of the final total, or about $28 billion.

For the study, inactivity was defined using the World Health Organization’s definition as a person not meeting the recommended 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity physical activity per week” for adults.

The bad news, as Bloomberg noted, is that using different methods, researchers estimate the costs might be 2-3 times higher.

Good news? We all just need to do a tiny bit more. According to the study, “If inactivity were not eliminated, but decreased instead by 10% or 25%, more than 533,000 [or] more than 1-3 million deaths, respectively, could be averted every year.”

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