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Research shows billions saved on health, crime and education as a result of sport investment

Research shows billions saved on health, crime and education as a result of sport investment
April 27, 2016

A study from a leading UK university shows that almost £44 billion (US$64.24 billion) was saved in England over a 12 month period on health, crime and education as a result of the country’s investment in sport.

According to the newly released research compiled by Sheffield Hallam University, Social Return on Investment in Sport, the £23.46 billion (US$33.68 billion) spent on sport during 2013/14 contributed to a £44.75 billion (US$64.24 billion) ‘outcome’, with six outcomes relating to health, two to education, as well as three further social outcomes.

In terms of health, the study found that participation in sport and exercise at ‘moderate intensity’ for adults reduced the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and strokes by 30%, colon cancer by 24%, Type 2 diabetes by 10%, dementia by 30% and breast cancer in women by 20%.

In addition, 14.1% of adults participating in sport and exercise were more likely to report good health than non-participants.

As a result £1 billion (US$1.43 billion) was saved on the reduction of heart disease and stroke risks, £132m (US$189.5 million) on breast cancer, £239 million (US$343.1 million) on Type 2 diabetes, £2.2 billion (US$3.2 billion) on dementia, while £1.5 billion (US$2.2 billion) was saved because of reported good health.

The biggest economic impact was the £30.4 billion (US$43.6 billion) derived from participants’ “higher subjective wellbeing”. A 1% reduction in crime over the period resulted in £41 million (US$58.9 million) savings, while improvements in education attainment for those taking part in physical activity netted the country £5 million (US$7.2 million).

Finally, work done by volunteers in sport contributed to £7.8 billion (US$11.2 billion, €9.9 billion) in economic impact.

The study – funded by the Higher Education Investment Fund (HEIF), the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Sport England – found that by dividing the value of outcomes (£44.75 billion) by the value of inputs (£23.46 billion) a Social Return on Investment in Sport of £1.91 (US$2.74) was generated for every £1 (US$1.43) spent.

Researchers Larissa Davies, Peter Taylor, Girish Ramchandani and Elizabeth Christy said that the study was “the start of a journey, providing a platform for improvement in evidence on the social impacts of sport”.

They added “the purpose of the research is to enable policy makers to present a case for supporting investment in sport, by demonstrating its wider contribution and value to society.”

Source: Sporting Goods Industry Association (UK)

Images used for illustrative purposes only.

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