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Designed To Move

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The World Has
Stopped Moving

Just a few generations ago, physical activity was an integral part of daily life. In the name of progress, we've now chipped away at it so thoroughly that physical inactivity actually seems normal.

In less than two generations, physical activity has dropped by 20% in the U.K. and 32% in the U.S. In China, the drop is 45% in less than one generation. Vehicles, machines and technology now do our moving for us. What we do in our leisure time doesn't come close to making up for what we've lost.

By the end of this decade, most Americans
will exert only slightly more energy per
week than if they slept 24 hours a day.

A Race To Slow Down

Historic and projected physical activity levels

  • USA
    1965 - 2009
    - 32%
    BY 2030
    - 46%
  • UK
    1961 - 2005
    - 20%
    BY 2030
    - 35%
  • BRAZIL
    2002 - 2007
    - 6%
    BY 2030
    - 34%
  • GREATER CHINA*
    1991 - 2009
    - 45%
    BY 2030
    - 51%
  • RUSSIA
    1995 - 2005
    - 18%
    BY 2030
    - 32%

Physical inactivity has become normal and the change is too abrupt not to expect severe consequences.

This year, 5.3 million deaths will be
attributed to physical inactivity. Smoking is
responsible for 5 million deaths per year.

The economic
costs are unacceptable

The cost of physical inactivity drains economies. By 2030, the direct costs alone in China and India will each increase by more than 450 percent. To put these increases in context, the 2030 annual direct costs are expected to be more than China's current health care budget, and nearly four times what India currently spends on secondary education in a year.

Physical inactivity can bankrupt economies. In the US, China, India and the UK alone, it cost US $200 billion in 2008.

The Economic Costs & Consequences

Total spend (direct + indirect costs) associated with physical inactivity in 2008 by country

  • USA
    $147

    2x the federal budget for the Department of Education

  • UK
    $33

    Almost the National Health Service's annual efficiency target

  • INDIA
    $2

    Equal to the total annual budget for secondary education

  • GREATER CHINA*
    $20

    Almost 1/3 of China's total health care budget

  • BRAZIL
    $12

    Well over twice the value of Brazil's coffee exports in 2009

  • RUSSIA
    $6

    Close to the total health care cost of cardiovascular disease in 2009

The Human Costs
Are Unforgivable

Today's kids are dropping out of sport and play early. Between ages 9 and 15, American and European kids' activity levels drop by 50-75 percent. In China, 92 percent of kids get no physical activity outside of school.

These inactive kids score up to 40 percent lower on achievement tests than their active friends. Today, sports, physical activity and physical education are seen as optional or extra-curricular, rather than the powerful investments that they are.

Today's 10 year olds are the first generation expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

Physical Inactivity Is A Cycle

The compounding costs of physical inactivity over a lifetime

Future
generations
running, jumping
& kicking to
reach their
greatest potential

The science is clear. Physical activity does more than create good health. It contributes to leadership, productivity and innovation. It lowers depression and crime, increases education and income levels, and generates return to businesses. It unleashes human potential, and this is what drives economies forward.

Maximizing Human Potential: The Human Capital Model

The comprehensive benefits of sports and physical activity are underestimated today, with the focus typically limited to the more obvious physical benefits. What seems to have gone unnoticed is that physical activity accelerates the development of many dimensions of human capital in a unique and comprehensive way. This model shows the surprising spectrum of benefits of physical activity to both individuals and economies. Each "capital" defines a set of resources that underpin our well-being and success. Please note: Not all benefits shown. For a comprehensive list of Human Capital Model benefits, please see the Full Report.

  • View All Benefits
    Close

    Intellectual Capital

    Improvements In:
    • Educational attainment
    • Processing engagement
    • Processing speed
    • Executive function / Inhibition / Mental flexibility
    • Memory
    • Academic performance
    • Brain structure and function
    • Concentration / Attention / Impulse control
    • Learning
    • ADHD Management

    Financial Capital

    Improvements In:
    • Income
    • Job Success
    • Productivity / Job Performance
    • Morale / Commitment / Turnover
    Reductions In:
    • Health care costs
    • Absenteeism
    • Presenteeism

    Physical Capital

    Improvements In:
    • General motor skills
    • Functional fitness / Physical appearance
    Prevention / Treatment Of:
    • Metabolic syncrome / Type 2 diabetes
    • Overall mortality
    Reduction Of:
    • Falls
    • Smoking

    Emotional Capital

    Improvements In:
    • Fun, enjoyment, satisfaction
    • Feeling good
    • Self esteem
    • Self efficacy
    • Body image

    Social Capital

    Improvements In:
    • Social norms
    • Improvements In:
    • Social status / Social commitment
    • Social inclusion & acceptance
    • Trust / Teamwork / Collaboration
    • Civic participation
    • Gender equality
    • Equity for personas with disabilities
    • Crime, juvenile delinquency & gang participation reduction
    • Community cohesion

    Individual Capital

    Improvements In:
    • Activity knowledge and skills
    • Social skills / Life skills / Non-cognitive skills
    • Sportsmanship
    • Time management
    • Goal setting
    • Initiative / Leadership
    • Honest / Integrity / Respect / Responsibility
    • Enthusiasm / Intrinsic motivation
    • Commitment / Self discipline / Self control / Persistence
    • Assertiveness & courage
  • Intellectual
    Close

    Intellectual Capital

    Improvements In:
    • Educational attainment
    • Processing engagement
    • Processing speed
    • Executive function / Inhibition / Mental flexibility
    • Memory
    • Academic performance
    • Brain structure and function
    • Concentration / Attention / Impulse control
    • Learning
    • ADHD Management
  • Financial
    Close

    Financial Capital

    Improvements In:
    • Income
    • Job Success
    • Productivity / Job Performance
    • Morale / Commitment / Turnover
    Reductions In:
    • Health care costs
    • Absenteeism
    • Presenteeism
  • Physical
    Close

    Physical Capital

    Improvements In:
    • General motor skills
    • Functional fitness / Physical appearance
    Prevention / Treatment Of:
    • Metabolic syncrome / Type 2 diabetes
    • Overall mortality
    Reduction Of:
    • Falls
    • Smoking
  • Emotional
    Close

    Emotional Capital

    Improvements In:
    • Fun, enjoyment, satisfaction
    • Feeling good
    • Self esteem
    • Self efficacy
    • Body image
  • Individual
    Close

    Individual Capital

    Improvements In:
    • Activity knowledge and skills
    • Social skills / Life skills / Non-cognitive skills
    • Sportsmanship
    • Time management
    • Goal setting
    • Initiative / Leadership
    • Honest / Integrity / Respect / Responsibility
    • Enthusiasm / Intrinsic motivation
    • Commitment / Self discipline / Self control / Persistence
    • Assertiveness & courage
  • Social
    Close

    Social Capital

    Improvements In:
    • Social norms
    • Social network / Positive relationships
    • Social status / Social commitment
    • Social inclusion & acceptance
    • Trust / Teamwork / Collaboration
    • Civic participation
    • Gender equality
    • Equity for personas with disabilities
    • Crime, juvenile delinquency & gang participation reduction
    • Community cohesion

Here's a new idea: Physical activity as a source of competitive advantage. We challenge you to find a piece of research that says it isn't. We couldn't.

A Positive Cycle

The compounding benefits of physical activity over a lifetime

Our Best Chance to Break The Cycle

As children move into adolescence, their preferences and motivations - for physical activity, or anything else - hardwire.

Focusing on kids before the age of 10 could change the trajectory for the next generation.

A Critical Window

Nature made children perpetual motion machines for a reason. As they head into adolescence, children draw the blueprints for their adult lives. Not just their adult bodies, but their adult intellect, character, emotional resilience and social skills.

It's Time for Action

No one can fix this alone. We must align strategies & combine resources. Urgent priority must be given to dramatically increase the world's commitment to physical activity.

DESIGNED TO MOVE offers consensus on the path forward - a single vision: Future generations running, jumping and kicking to reach their greatest potential. A new normal.

  1. Ask 1

    Create early positive experiences for children

    If kids are playing hard and having fun, they'll come back for more. One day, they'll have hard-playing kids of their own, and the negative cycle will be broken.

  2. Ask 2

    Integrate Physical Activity Into Everyday Life

    Our world doesn't make physical activity very easy. Everything around us is designed for sedentary convenience. It's time to shake things up.