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Physical inactivity: productivity losses and healthcare costs 2002 and 2016 in Sweden
  1. Kristian Bolin1,2
  1. 1 Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  2. 2 Centre for Health Economics, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kristian Bolin; kristian.bolin{at}


Objectives To estimate the costs associated with physical inactivity in Sweden for the year 2016.

Methods The costs associated with insufficient physical activity was calculated employing population attributable fractions (PAFs) and register information on healthcare utilisation, mortality and disability pensions. The PAFs were calculated using information on exercise habits and morbidity-specific relative risks. The healthcare cost components were calculated based on registry data on inpatient-care, outpatient-care and primary care utilisation. Registry data on cause-specific mortality and granted disability pensions were used to calculate the productivity loss components. Costs associated with pharmaceutical utilisation were not included due lack of data.

Results Physical exercise habits improved somewhat between 2002 and 2016. Thus, the associated morbidity-specific PAFs decreased over the same time period.

Conclusions The economic costs attributable to insufficient physical activity decrease between the year 2002 and 2016. Healthcare costs attributable to insufficient physical activity as share of total healthcare expenses increased from 0.86 % in 2002 to 0.91 % in 2016.

  • physical activity
  • cost-of-illness
  • health economics

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  • Contributors KB is the sole contributor.

  • Funding This study has been funded by the Swedish organisation for outdoor life (Svenskt Friluftuftliv).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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