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Why investing in physical activity is great for our health – and our nation

Person doing up running shoe

Sport England has commissioned the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University to calculate the social impact and the economic importance of sport and physical activity in England. Every £1 spent on community sport and physical activity generates nearly £4 for the English economy and society.

The findings, which are revealed in a new report show that investment creates a return across health and social care, improves wellbeing, builds stronger communities and develops skills in the economy. The report shows that investing in community sport and physical activity plays an important role in boosting the economy and provides the opportunity to help level up inequalities within communities, and build a healthier, happier and more prosperous society generating £3.91 in value for every £1 spent.

The findings also reveal that community sport and physical activity brings an annual contribution of £85.5 billion to the country (in 2018 prices) through social and economic benefits. Its social value – including physical and mental health, wellbeing, individual and community development – is more than £72 billion, provided via routes such as a healthier population, consumer expenditure, greater work productivity, improved education attainment, reduced crime and stronger communities. It also generates more than £13bn in economic value through the sports-related goods and services we consume as a nation.