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SPORTS, EXERCISE, AND LENGTH OF STAY IN HOSPITALS: IS THERE A DIFFERENTIAL EFFECT FOR THE CHRONICALLY ILL PEOPLE?

Authors

  • NAZMI SARI

    1. Sari: Department of Economics, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N5A5, Canada. Phone 306-966-5216, Fax 306-966-5232, E-mail Nazmi.Sari@usask.ca
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    • The author used the survey data collected by Statistics Canada. While the research and analysis are based on data from Statistics Canada, the opinions expressed do not represent the views of Statistics Canada.


Abstract

This paper examines the effects of sports and exercise on hospital stays for males and females by various chronic conditions using a panel dataset from Canada. The results suggest that moderately active and active individuals have shorter hospital stays than inactive individuals. On average, individuals with moderate to higher amount of physical activity stay 36% to 39% less than inactive individuals. Physical activity has consistent impact on hospital stays for the entire population as well as subgroup of people with or without chronic conditions. However, its effect is substantially larger for people with chronic conditions, especially for those who have diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. The paper also suggests that additional exercise once moderate level of exercise is achieved does not generate substantially large benefits in the form of shorter hospital stays. Hence, it provides additional evidence to support the recent physical activity guidelines for adults that highlight health benefits of moderate amount of regular physical activity. (JEL I1)

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