Health care costs later in life were significantly lower for adults who maintained moderate or high levels of physical activity, new analysis of food and health study claims data found from the National Institutes of Health and the American Association of Retired Persons (NIH-AARP). . The new study, published in BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, looked at different levels of physical activity participation in adulthood and how activity affected health insurance claims. Among the results: People exercising with a moderate level of activity had lower health care costs by $ 1,200 per year after age 65 compared to adults who were consistently inactive. adolescence to middle age (moderate exercise involved walking or being in motion for a few hours most weeks). Health costs for those with a high activity level were $ 1,350 lower per year. But even late beginners have benefited: waiting until middle age to increase activity still resulted in cost reductions of $ 824 per year.
Adults who increased their physical activity levels in their twenties experienced the most dramatic reductions in health care costs: $ 1,874 less per year. Even though some of these athletes decreased their activity in middle age, reducing the frequency with which they exercised in their forties and fifties, they still spent about $ 860 less on health care per year than sedentary people during. most of their life.
Participation in physical activity was associated with a lower risk of several diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, dementia and several cancers, as well as a lower risk of premature death. In the United States, levels of physical activity that do not meet current guidelines are associated with annual health care spending of around $ 117 billion, according to a study published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.