More sports and games could add $50 billion a year to India's GDP

07 June 2023 2 min. read
More news on

If every adult in India were to adopt an active lifestyle and reduce sedentary behaviour by 2047, the country's GDP could increase by $50 billion annually. This economic gain would result from improved health outcomes, productivity, and social cohesion.

A new study from global consulting firm Dalberg alongside independent non-profit Sports and Society Accelerator has shown that huge benefits to individual wellbeing and the economy could arise if India promotes a more active lifestyle, including more sports and exercise among all age groups.

The health benefits alone would contribute $17 billion, as spending on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) would decrease.

More sports and games could add $50 billion a year to India's GDP

Currently, 66% of total deaths in India are attributed to NCDs like cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, diabetes, anxiety, depression, hypertension, and dementia, which are often linked with a sedentary lifestyle. A remarkable 72% to 76% of adolescents in India were found to be generally inactive.

Besides the link of a sedentary lifestyle to health, an increase in workforce productivity could generate an extra $28 billion in economic output. A healthier workforce is good for the economy and productivity can be boosted when workers are more active in their free time.

The report urges stakeholders like governments, NGOs, academic institutions, and the private sector to work on ways to promote more physical activity across India.

“With its current presidency of the G20, its decades-long demographic dividend, and its growing focus on health and fitness, India could be a global beacon for universal physical activity,” the report said.

India is home to many traditional exercises like yoga, as well as traditional sports like kabaddi and kho-kho, among many others. A total of 75 traditional sports and games were set to be introduced in schools for the first time last year.

“There is no better time than now to have a systematic and holistic focus on ensuring that physical activity and sports become an integral part of Indian society. With an eye on optimizing health, economic growth, productivity, livelihoods, and life skills, prioritizing physical activity and sport is a clear policy and research imperative,” the Dalberg report stated.

Founded in 2001, Dalberg offers sustainability-focused consulting, investing, and design aimed at making a positive difference in the world. Dalberg opened its New Delhi office in 2015, focused on addressing issues like food security, water scarcity, community development, education, and financial inclusion.