Sport and Preventative Health Care

The Problem

  • In 1992, 77% of Canadian youth (15-18) participated in sport – by 2005, it went down to 59% (Sports Participation in Canada, 2005)
  • Significant estimates of health-care spending due to physical inactivity and the onset of chronic disease can range from $2.1 billion to $5.3 billion annually. (Strengthening Canada: The Socio-economic Benefits of Sport Participation in Canada, 2005)

Taking Action

  • Sport plays a role in the prevention of chronic and on-communicable diseases, such as:
    • cardiovascular disease
    • coronary heart disease, cancer
    • hypertension
    • type 2 diabetes (Canadian Sport Centre for Ethics in Sport, 2008)
  • Sport participants are more likely to:
    •  eat more healthfully
    • less likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, use illicit drugs
    • engage in sexual activity or engage in violent activities than non-sports participants. (Physical Activity and its Impact on Health Behavior Among Youth , 2005)
  • Increasing sport and physical activity levels by just 10% would save British Columbians an estimated $18.3 million every year in avoided hospital, medication, physician and other direct costs. (The Cost of Physical Inactivity in British Columbia, 2004)

The Facts Are In –

              Choose SPORTS!

  • Large majorities of Canadian youth (aged 12 – 21) indicate that playing sports has the following benefits:
    • improves their health (99%)
    • helps them make new friends (87%)
    • makes them feel better about themselves (85%) (Reconnecting Government with Youth Survey, 2003)


Canadian Sport Centre for Ethics in Sport
Physical Activity and its Impact on Health Behaviour Among Youth
Promoting the Benefits of Sport: A Collection of Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Reports, 2005
Reconnecting Government with Youth Survey
Sports Participation in Canada, 2005

The Cost of Physical Inactivity in British Columbia