The U.S. spends a lot of money on healthcare. In fact, it’s about $3.2 trillion per year; more than any other developed country. You would imagine with that amount of money, we’d see some healthier individuals, but that’s unfortunately not the case. We still have a lot of health issues affecting our country, including obesity and chronic diseases that are preventable.
In 2014, the direct costs of medical treatment for health conditions related to obesity and being overweight totaled $427.8 billion. The indirect costs totaled $988.8 billion. Between direct and indirect costs, it was a total of $1.42 trillion spent, or 8.2% of our U.S. gross domestic product. 1
Obesity is not only hurting our health, but also our economy. Many of the above stated direct and indirect costs are related to productivity, or lack thereof, in the workplace. These include lost workdays, absenteeism, and low productivity or under-performance while at work.
In addition to what the government is paying, individuals and families are paying much higher healthcare costs, and those have only continued to increase.
In 2016, average annual costs per person hit $10,345. In 1960, the average cost per person was only $146 — and, adjusting for inflation, that means costs are nine times higher now than they were then.2
These costs include doctor appointments, co-pays, deductibles, prescription medications, medical equipment, and more. For those with preventable diseases, these are costs that could be reduced or eliminated through exercise, a healthy diet, and a healthy lifestyle.
Why are we throwing all of these numbers your way? Because the simple answer to reducing your healthcare costs is by living a healthy lifestyle. As a member, you are probably already seeing the physical and mental benefits of our program on your health, but do you understand the economic value of our program in saving you possibly current and future health costs?
How exactly? Let’s take a quick look:
A healthy diet and regular cardiovascular exercise, like our kickboxing days, strengthen your heart, reducing the risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes and other preventable diseases. Even those who have already been diagnosed with a heart disease can see improvement or elimination (depending on the severity) by changing their diet and exercise routine. That means reduced or eliminated medications, doctor visits, and potential expensive hospital stays.
Obesity, a preventable disease, can increase your risk of many other chronic health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, heart attack and more. An exercise program like Farrell’s with regular exercise and healthy eating can reduce your risk of becoming overweight or obese, eliminating these possible future health issues and the high costs that come with them.
Exercise is extremely important for our mental health as it releases endorphins and serotonin, reducing risk of developing depression and anxiety, which affects over 40 million people in the U.S. and costs $34 billion annually.
Studies have shown that a healthy diet, filled with vegetables and whole grains, and exercise can reduce risk of some cancers, including lung and endometrial cancers.
As you can see, the above are all ways to reduce health care costs by living a healthy lifestyle. Our goal at Farrell’s is to help you reach your fitness goals while giving you tools to live a long and healthy life. You may be surprised how a membership can actually save you money.