Physical activity: Drug of the future

Reflection-action on physical activity and sports in an urban space


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About the project Edit

Imagine a drug able to treat cardiovascular problems, slowdown the aging process or make us more resistant to infection, depression or anxiety. Imagine that this drug didn’t have any side effects and didn’t weaken social welfare. Utopic, no?

Well, this drug already exists. It’s called physical activity.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is responsible for one in ten deaths in the world. According to studies, the decrease of the mortality rate through exercise goes from 2% to 58%, but absolutely every scientific study positively concludes that physical practice is beneficial. Despite this evidence, however, little is done to promote physical activity, sports or not, especially in France. This project’s objective is to reduce the gap between proven theories and daily reality.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

According to the National Institute of Health and Medical Research, only 46% of French people did at least one sport during the year. Therefore, 54% never do! There is a reverse correlation between sedentary lifestyle and illness which are associated in standard of living. Due to adapted communication, a transformation in urban space and use of digital tools that exist and are yet to be invented, this project’s goal is to develop physical practices without a generational, social or economic gap.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The project called “Sport Health, Sport Life” starts in Saint-Etienne, but if successful, duplication in other cities, French or not, will be limitless.

The part “urban planning of the current project will inspire initiatives made in other cities” like Montreal for example, and described in the IP project sheet “Green, active and healthy neighbourhood – Mercier”.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

According to the Academy of National Medicine, France in particular is behind in physical activities and sports (compared to other European or North American countries) and measures currently used do not change the population’s behaviour.

Measures are limited and too often put emphasis on spectator sports to the detriment of sport for public health. It is time to really promote regular exercise for everyone and in any way (especially by using digital tools as information and motivation) to improve the physical and psychic health of citizens. Physical practices are also an excellent leverage for social cohesion.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

More than anything, health is a matter of public policy, but this will not become lost funds as much as investment in this project is a way to limit health spending. Physical activity should ultimately be a drug that is reimbursed by social security and mutual benefit societies. It’s already the case in some countries (Australia and the US) and the National Academy of Medicine’s recommendation.

The business model does not rest solely on public funding (state, regional, municipal), but also on the partnership with the private sector in form of sponsorship (the health of their employees is at stake) or the more active participation to companies directly in contact with the project (sport or digital manufacturers, mutual benefit societies, etc.).

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