May 4, 2021

The government should start paying people to go exercise

People's inactivity has become a real threat to everyday life and it's the government's job to do something about it. That why it should motivate citizens to do more physical exercise and what better motivator than money?

I hear you asking: isn’t your plan expensive? No, it’s not. Let’s do a quick calculation. If the Dutch government would refund every citizen between 16 and 67 (the retirement age) for their health club costs, it would cost the state €308 million per month, adding up to €3,7 billion per year. 

That is some serious money, however, it can help reduce the costs of a health crisis too! If one thing became apparent these last 14 months is that physical exercise saves lives and helps prevent the economy from closing down. The people that got most ill by the Covid virus were overweight or had an underlying health condition, and physical exercise can help improve both. 

Let’s continue with our calculation. After one year of financial support by the Dutch government, it has spent €66,08 billion on the current health crisis (source: Algemene rekenkamer). With that money we could pay all Dutch citizens to exercise for 17 consecutive years! But that’s not all of it, according to RTL News the total costs of this crisis will end up at €175 billion, which adds up to 12 million Dutchies training for 47 years (!). Now let me ask you: is paying people to exercise expensive?

Money for exercise can be a very powerful tool to motivate people to train more. It would be a very effective first step to a healthier and more sporty future. Do you agree?

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