Exercise Pays Off in Lower Medical Bills
Just 30 minutes of walking, five days a week, can save you $2,500 a year in medical costs, according to a new study of more than 26,000 people. While prior studies of the economic dividends of exercise have focused mostly on medical costs and lost productivity to government and business, this analysis set out to quantify individual benefits. Using data from the annual Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, researchers focused on the costs of cardiovascular disease. On average, individuals who met the exercise guidelines paid $2,500 a year less for health care related to heart disease than their more sedentary peers. Those savings were calculated after controlling for variations in health insurance coverage. Publishing their findings in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers concluded, "Being physically active is good for your wallet."