A messy desk, with a worker busy doing nothing.
Hype Photography—Getty Images
By Alicia Adamczyk
July 28, 2016

Physical inactivity is costing people a lot more than their slim-fit jeans: A report published Thursday by The Lancet, a U.K. medical journal, puts the number at $27.8 billion in the U.S. alone, with global figures reaching $67.5 billion.

The study, from 142 different countries, is the first-ever to calculate just how much sloth is costing us, Bloomberg News reports. And the financial toll is a conservative estimate.

The study took into account productivity losses, health care costs, and disability-adjusted life-years of various conditions related to inactivity: coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer. Type 2 diabetes was the most expensive disease, accounting for 70% of all health care costs.

According to Melody Ding, the lead author of the study and a senior research fellow at the University of Sydney’s school of public health, rich countries bear more responsibility for the economic costs of inactivity, while less-wealthy nations bear a higher percentage of the disease burden.

As Bloomberg put it: “The most striking finding is not the actual number, it’s the distribution of the economic burden across regions,” Ding said. “In wealthy countries, people pay with their pockets. In less wealthy countries, they’re paying with their lives.”

The U.S. strikingly accounts for over 40% of worldwide sloth costs. Let’s hope Pokemon Go can save us.

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