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Eur J Health Econ. 2012 Jun;13(3):277-87. doi: 10.1007/s10198-011-0304-4. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

The demand for sports and exercise: results from an illustrative survey.

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  • 1Health Economics Research Group, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK,


There is a paucity of empirical evidence on the extent to which price and perceived benefits affect the level of participation in sports and exercise. Using an illustrative sample of 60 adults at Brunel University, West London, we investigate the determinants of demand for sports and exercise. The data were collected through face-to-face interviews that covered indicators of sports and exercise behaviour; money/time price and perceived benefits of participation; and socio-economic/demographic details. Count, linear and probit regression models were fitted as appropriate. Seventy eight per cent of the sample participated in sports and exercise and spent an average of £27 per month and an average of 20 min travelling per occasion of sports and exercise. The demand for sport and exercise was negatively associated with time (travel or access time) and 'variable' price and positively correlated with 'fixed' price. Demand was price inelastic, except in the case of meeting the UK government's recommended level of participation, which is time price elastic (elasticity = -2.2). The implications of data from a larger nationally representative sample as well as the role of economic incentives in influencing uptake of sports and exercise are discussed.

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