The Promotion of Well-being through Sporting Activities
New Horizons in the Economics of Sport series
Edited by Plácido Rodríguez, Stefan Késenne and Brad R. Humphreys
Chapter 2: An Economic Analysis of the Subjective Health and Well-being of Physical Activity
? Paul Downward and Simona Rasciute INTRODUCTION Internationally a large number of policy initiatives emphasize the need for policy to promote well-being and health. The same is true of the UK in which there has been a focus on the need to increase physical activity such as sport, as well as walking and cycling as active modes of transport (DCMS/Strategy Unit, 2002; Department of Health, 2004; Department for Transport, 2004; Cycling England, 2007). Drawing upon two waves of a unique, but not panel, data-set for England, this chapter extends Rasciute and Downward (2010), to explore the links between physical activity and active travel on subjectively reported health and well-being. Key contributions of the chapter are to examine the relationships for the separate waves of the data and also to produce willingness-to-pay measures of the impacts of physical activity and active travel results. The former explores the robustness of the findings of Rasciute and Downward (2010), which was based on pooled data, while the latter provides an attempt to add some scale to the benefits associated with physical activity and active travel. This can help to inform policy priorities. The chapter is organized as follows. In Section 2 the interrelated nature of subjectively stated health and well-being are discussed. In Section 3 the literature on well-being generally is reviewed, as well as contributions focusing upon the impact of physical activity. In Section 4 the data employed in the analysis is introduced and discussed. In Section 5 the econometric methods are discussed. The...
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