Gregory Colman, Dhaval Dave, 08 May 2013

Time and again, research correctly finds that people in developed countries don’t exercise enough. But what information are policy efforts to promote physical exercise based on? This column presents new – and more sophisticated – research that disentangles recreational exercise and cumulative exercise – such as physical activity in (or on the way to) the workplace. An individual’s total physical activity, and not just their recreational exercise, is the salient input into health production because exercise is typically a very small portion of an individual’s total daily physical activity. The sole focus on recreational exercise may well be misleading.

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