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The opportunity cost of exercise: Do higher-earning Australians exercise longer, harder, or both?

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  • Maruyama, Shiko
  • Yin, Qing

Abstract

Despite the widely documented benefits of exercise, very little is known about how individuals make the decision on exercise. In particular, the decision on the intensity of exercise has attracted only one US study to date, which tests the hypothesis that individuals shift toward less time-intensive but more physically intensive forms of exercise as their wages increase. In this article, we revisit this hypothesis by employing a more credible empirical framework. Studying Australian data we confirm that higher-income Australians tend to exercise more frequently with a longer duration and a higher intensity of exercise. Exercise regimens individualised based on the behavioural patterns of exercise across socio-economic groups will contribute to the efficiency and efficacy of the exercise promotion.

Suggested Citation

  • Maruyama, Shiko & Yin, Qing, 2012. "The opportunity cost of exercise: Do higher-earning Australians exercise longer, harder, or both?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 187-194.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:106:y:2012:i:2:p:187-194
    DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2012.03.013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
    2. Meltzer, David O. & Jena, Anupam B., 2010. "The economics of intense exercise," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 347-352, May.
    3. Kenkel, Donald S, 1991. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 287-305, April.
    4. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    5. Park, Cheolsung & Kang, Changhui, 2008. "Does education induce healthy lifestyle?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1516-1531, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sisira Sarma & Rose Anne Devlin & Jason Gilliland & Karen Campbell & Gregory Zaric, 2013. "The Effect of Leisure-time Physical Activity on Obesity, Diabetes, High BP and Heart Disease among Canadians: Evidence from 2000/01 to 2005/06," Working Papers 130001, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
    2. Henry Saffer & Dhaval Dave & Michael Grossman & Leigh Ann Leung, 2013. "Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Differences in Physical Activity," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 378-410.
    3. Sarma, Sisira & Zaric, Gregory S. & Campbell, M. Karen & Gilliland, Jason, 2014. "The effect of physical activity on adult obesity: Evidence from the Canadian NPHS panel," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 1-21.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Exercise; Opportunity cost; Health promotion; Health investment;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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