15-minute walks daily can lift Earth

Central Station | 7 Nov 2019

The world economy could be boosted by as much as US$100 billion (HK$780 billion) a year if employers encouraged staff to meet World Health Organization guidelines on exercise.

Adding 15 minutes of daily walking or jogging one kilometer each day will improve productivity and extend life expectancy. That will lead to greater economic growth, a study by think tank Rand Europe and health insurance group Vitality finds.

The economic boost would come from lower mortality rates - in other words keeping more people alive, working longer and less sick days.

Hans Pung, Rand Europe president Hans Pung says the study should give policymakers and employers "new perspectives on how to enhance the productivity of populations."

The WHO recommends all adults should take at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week. In a study last year it found 40 percent of adults in the United States, 36 percent in Britain and 14 percent in China did too little exercise to stay healthy.

The Rand/Vitality study draws on data from about 120,000 people across seven countries.

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