According to data from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, a sedentary lifestyle is the cause of 9% of cardiovascular disease, 11% of type 2 diabetes, 16% of breast cancer and 16% of cancer to the colorectal. The Valore Sport Observatory promoted by The European House-Ambrosetti has quantified the annual health cost of a sedentary lifestyle in Italy at 3.8 billion euros, understood as the sum of direct and indirect costs, with an impact on total public health expenditure and private sector of the country equal to 1.7%.
Encouraging sporting practice with targeted investments would make it possible to generate positive social and economic externalities. If only Italy aligned itself with the average of OECD countries in terms of sedentary population (34.7%), healthcare costs of 900 million could be avoided each year. These data were provided on Wednesday 25 January during the presentation of the first edition of the “Valore Sport Observatory” Forum organized by The European House-Ambrosetti in the Hall of Authority of the Olympic Stadium in Rome. «The vision of the Sport Observatory to 2050 – underlined Valerio De Molli, CEO of The European House – Ambrosetti – is certainly very ambitious, but we believe that with targeted policies, to be implemented also involving all the various Ministries that govern aspects impacted directly or indirectly from sport, it is possible to halve the phenomenon of sedentary lifestyle in the next 30 years. In doing so, we estimated that the country would benefit from cumulative savings in health care spending of 32.5 billion in the period 2022-2050 thanks to the prevention of diseases and health gains for the population and cumulative GDP growth of 134 billion thanks to the relaunch of the sports chain”.
Access to sports
Indeed, those who practice a sport activate a multiplicity of industrial and service chains, from companies and associations that directly provide sports services to manufacturers of clothing, equipment and accessories, from organizers of events, competitions, to sports tourism , up to the media sector. An important theme highlighted, however, in the report is that of accessibility to sport. In addition to the chronic problems of the plants, there is also an economic question. In Italy, on average, 10% of citizens do not play sports due to too high a cost, 47.9% of sedentary people are in conditions of high economic vulnerability and 30% of children between 6 and 10 do not sport due to the economic situation of the families.
The two Italys of sport
The Valore Sport Observatory has developed a new indicator to capture the situation in the various Regions, called the “Territorial Index of Accessibility to Sport” which is divided into 4 pillars: availability and proximity of the sport offer; development and economic sustainability of enterprises in the sporting activities sector; affordability of sporting activity for families which indicates how much a consumer is willing to pay for practice; contextual elements enabling the sports offer and physical activity, taken into consideration due to the fact that lifestyles and the urban context play a role. At the top of this ranking for 2022 is Lombardy, with a relative score of 8.2 out of 10, followed by Tuscany (7.6) and Emilia-Romagna (7.4). The 8 Regions of the South occupy the last 9 positions of the classification, together with Umbria.
Sports and Health
“There is only one way for the growth of sporting practice and the well-being of the nation: to stay in schools and in the territories, among the people – said Vito Cozzoli, President and CEO of Sport and Health, one of the founders of the Observatory Sport value -. This is what Sport and Health is aiming for, this is what school programs and our tenders for sport for all serve above all. Investing in sport and in social matters is the best possible remedy for translating negative values into values, discomfort into social cohesion, inactivity and illness into well-being and health, this is the commitment that Ambrosetti has represented to us as a priority for the future of the country and with a horizon of 2050. And yesterday we launched 4 tenders that will invest almost 16 million and which will involve more than 12,000 grassroots associations and over 1 million citizens”.