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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: Susan A. Carlson, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, MS F-77, Atlanta, GA 30341–3717. E-mail address: scarlson1@cdc.gov

We have no conflicts of interest to report.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



  • Physical activity
  • Exercise
  • Health expenditures
  • Health care

Inadequate Physical Activity and Health Care Expenditures in the United States


Journal Title:

Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases


Volume 57, Number 4


, Pages 315-323

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


This study estimates the percentage of health care expenditures in the non-institutionalized United States (U.S.) adult population associated with levels of physical activity inadequate to meet current guidelines. Leisure-time physical activity data from the National Health Interview Survey (2004–2010) were merged with health care expenditure data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2006–2011). Health care expenditures for inactive (i.e., no physical activity) and insufficiently active adults (i.e., some physical activity but not enough to meet guidelines) were compared with active adults (i.e., ≥150 minutes/week moderate-intensity equivalent activity) using an econometric model. Overall, 11.1% (95% CI: 7.3, 14.9) of aggregate health care expenditures were associated with inadequate physical activity (i.e., inactive and insufficiently active levels). When adults with any reported difficulty walking due to a health problem were excluded, 8.7% (95% CI: 5.2, 12.3) of aggregate health care expenditures were associated with inadequate physical activity. Increasing adults' physical activity to meet guidelines may reduce U.S. health care expenditures.

Copyright information:

© 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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