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Investment in physical activity is needed – for our health and the economy

10th September 2020

Matt Sanders

By investing in community sport and physical activity, we can improve wellbeing, build stronger communities and create a return on health and social care spending.

This is according to a new report by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, which revealed that every £1 invested this way generates nearly four times as much for the economy and society.

The report, commissioned by Sport England, highlights the need to invest in community sport and physical activity as a way to boost the economy and redress the balance of inequalities within our communities.

The findings show that every £1 spent on sporting facilities in the community will generate £3.91 – and a happier, healthier, more thriving society in the process.

The research shows that community sport and physical activity adds around £85.5 billion in social and economic benefits. That’s more than £72 billion in social value thanks to a healthier population, more consumer spending, increased work productivity and greater educational fulfilment – and more than £13 billion into the economy as we buy more sport-related items.

Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive at Sport England said the findings highlighted the importance of this investment.

He explained: “Today more than ever, community sport and activity has a vital role to play in offering a solution to some of society’s biggest problems like our health, both mental and physical, helping to make life fairer for everyone, and growing and improving our economy.”

The report revealed the extent to which physical activity can help reduce the number of serious physical and mental health conditions – £5.2 billion in healthcare savings and £1.7 billion in social care savings.

A further £20 billion in value came from building stronger, safer communities – the result of fewer crime incidents, more sports volunteers (£5.7 billion), and greater levels of social trust, belonging and community engagement (£14.2 billion).

Investment in physical activity has never been more important. Numerous studies have shown how important exercise is in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. Not only does it guard against obesity and underlying health conditions linked to Covid-19, it is arguably as important as social distancing, hand washing and wearing a face mask.

At Paragon Structures, we provide the indoor sporting facilities people need to enjoy sport, get fit and stay active. We specialise in state-of-the-art tension membrane structures, offering rapid build times and low construction costs.

Take a look at our recent projects, including a concept design created for a Swim England feasibility report.

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