Sedentary lifestyle costs Greece 130 million euros a year

A study by the University of Thessaly found that a sedentary lifestyle is “costly” for Greece.

As Professor Emeritus and President of the National Center (Εθνικού Κέντρου) Dr. Yiannis Kutentakis says, “The relocation of the masses from the villages to the cities and the improvement of technology have made a significant contribution to the “sedentary lifestyle”. Thus, the percentage of the population leading it increased from 54% in 2002 to 68% in 2018, while the forecasts for the future are disappointing. It is estimated that in the next 20 years at work there will be a minimum demand for physical labor. However, lack of physical activity is associated, among other things, with the incidence of almost all noncommunicable diseases.

“Therefore, the question arises of how much a sedentary lifestyle is costing the country’s economy,” says Dr. Andreas Flouris, assistant professor of physical education and sports at the University of Thessaly. As he explains, “an analysis of the data collected and carefully studied by our researchers revealed this connection. For 2000–2010 the cost of a sedentary lifestyle amounted to 1.13 billion euros, and in the period 2011-2019 it increased to 1.07 billion euros, i.e. 2.2 billion euros in twenty years 2000-2019”, writes

“The calculation of the indicator was quite complex,” explains Sotiris Harbas, one of the participants in the study. According to him, “We followed an internationally recognized methodology that links ‘sedentary lifestyle’ to the five most important non-communicable diseases, namely: cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer. In 1990, these diseases were diagnosed in 859 thousand Greeks, and in 2019 this number increased to 1.48 million people. Many studies in recent decades have shown that a large number of these people become ill due to too little physical activity over several years.

Dr. Floris emphasizes that “if sedentary lifestyles were significantly eliminated in 2019, the Greek economy would receive additional financial resources to cover some of its needs in the areas of education, health, social solidarity and national defense. “For example, every year you can cover the cost of opening 39 new schools or 1 new hospital, or 180 new intensive care beds, or 202 fire trucks, or 50,000 meals for needy and homeless citizens.”

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