Sport & Exercise Science Education: Impact on the UK Economy

Our new report, published in collaboration with GuildHE, is an independent economic analysis of the contribution Sport and Exercise Science (SES) makes to the UK.

The report was launched with great fanfare in the Houses of Parliament on 15 May 2019. Read more about the launch event here.

What are the main findings of this report?

The study assesses the benefits of SES courses to local and national economies, focusing on the contribution of students, universities, and colleges working in the field.

The results show that SES courses added £3.9 billion in income to the UK economy, with average salaries for SES graduates after six months of employment at £21,100 per annum. Over the course of their careers, SES graduates earn on average £667,000 more compared to their non-graduate peers.

Why did The Physiological Society undertake this project?

Physiology as the science of the functions of living organisms, is a vital component of SES courses. Physiological understanding lies behind advancements in sports training, performance and health; just as athletes and coaches seek to maximise performance and reduce injury, SES graduates are as involved in disciplines as diverse as health education, research into the impact of exercise on physical and mental health, disease prevention, and post-operative outcomes.

What is the difference between "sport" and "exercise"?

The “sport” aspect of SES includes the examination of sports performance, coaching and officiating, and the impact of sport on the nation. The “exercise” component of SES includes investigation of the positive and preventative impact of exercise on a wide range of major physical and mental health conditions, including inactivity, obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiac rehabilitation, and depression.

How does exercise research benefit health?

Obesity, diabetes, cancer, depression: all areas in which Sport and Exercise Science research is playing a pivotal role in improving the health of everyone. Research in these areas is preventing and treating conditions and diseases that cost the NHS billions every year and are becoming ever more important as we face the challenges of an ageing population. For example, Type 2 diabetes treatment costs the NHS around £8.8 billion every year, which is just under 9% of the annual NHS budget.

Mike Tipton talks about the findings from the report

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