Amid tit-for-tat trade wars and rising civil unrest, economists have been fretting over how to avoid another global economic slowdown.
But new research has offered an unorthodox approach to boosting the world’s finances: a 15-minute walk.
The world economy could grow by an average of $100bn a year until 2050 if all adults aged 18-64 walked just 15 minutes more a day, according to think tank Rand Europe and health insurer Vitality.
An extra stroll each day would ensure fewer premature deaths, improved rates of sick leave and better levels of workplace productivity, delivering economic gains totalling billions of dollars, the report has claimed.
If the physically inactive were to reach the World Health Organisation’s recommended levels of exercise, the researchers said that employees would gain up to five additional days of productive time each year, meaning the global economy would grow by an estimated $220bn every year as a result.
Hans Pung, Rand Europe’s president, said the study highlighted “a significant relationship between inactivity and productivity loss” and should give policymakers and employers “new perspectives on how to enhance the productivity of their populations”.