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Long-Run Health Effects of Sports And Exercise In Canada


  • Nazmi Sari
  • Michael Lechner


Even though insufficient participation in physical activity is shown to be one of the major contributors to chronic diseases, and poor health, participation in physical activity still remains to be substantially low in developed countries including Canada. In this paper, we examine the long-run health effects of participation in sports and exercise among inactive Canadian adults. Based on informative Canadian panel data and semiparametric matching estimation, we show that participation in sports and exercise generally improves physical health and mental well-being of individuals. While this effect is statistically significant and persistent for men, we do not find a similar effect for women. Our results also indicate that positive health effects are only achieved with a level of physical activity that is larger than the current national and international health organizations' guidelines for the minimum level of activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Nazmi Sari & Michael Lechner, 2015. "Long-Run Health Effects of Sports And Exercise In Canada," Working Papers 150018, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cch:wpaper:150018

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Lechner & Stephan Wiehler, 2013. "Does the Order and Timing of Active Labour Market Programmes Matter?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(2), pages 180-212, April.
    2. Nazmi Sari, 2014. "Sports, Exercise, And Length Of Stay In Hospitals: Is There A Differential Effect For The Chronically Ill People?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(2), pages 247-260, April.
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    More about this item


    physical activity; sports; exercise; subjective health; mental health; treatment effect;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • Z28 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - Policy
    • Z29 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - Other
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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