Technologies at the service of sports health

Reading 3 minutes I by Micaella Feldstein Tech & Data analyst, Natixis CIB Research. 

Physical activity in its broadest sense is a source of well-being, providing significant benefits for health, regardless of age or if the person has one or more physical conditions. Yet, 45% of Europeans never exercise or play sport1. Faced with major public health challenges countries or unions are reacting and implementing policies that favor physical activity and sport then improve health of general population. 

Health: a major societal concern 

The structure of society is fundamentally changing because of steadily increasing life expectancy and decline in natality. Aging population is more likely to develop neurodegenerative diseases with often more costly protected forms of care. As for chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, asthma, they affect almost all age groups and require specific and appropriate care, and consequently are public health challenge. Mental health as depression, anxiety, or addiction, is deteriorating and is also very costly. Offer of care is lower and lower when medical needs increase. A more holistic approach of health is needed. 

The emergence of a new medicine 

P4 model is an approach to make medicine more Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory. Its main objectives are to improve wellness, predict and prevent disease. It is made possible, above all, by new technologies and modern biology, as they notably provide deeper insights into disease mechanisms and generate metrics for assessing wellness. P4 model perfectly fits with the Sports and Health. 

Sports and Health: the chance for happier and more productive lives 

The Sports and Health covers all physical activities that contribute to improving a person health whatever the level of skill. Physical activity has significant health benefits for hearts, bodies, and minds contributes to preventing chronic or degenerative diseases and can avoid aggravation or recurrence of many diseases and improves overall well-being and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

What role for the technology in Sports and Health? 

An ecosystem of companies is developing to make physical activity more accessible and increase participation in the practice of sport through technology and in particular digital one. A wide range of options is now available such as coaching, fitness courses and activity trackers, digitalization of fitness rooms and sports infrastructures, sport at workplace, well-being programs, and many solutions are seeking to integrate eco-responsible and equality approaches. 

What next? 

The Sports and Health industry will continue to develop innovative offers and helpful solutions to enhance access to practice a sport. The sector should benefit from public funding, investment funds specialized in sport or health, tax incentives for firms integrating sport in their HR strategy, creation of business incubators, the growing involvement of mutual insurers and more generally insurers in promoting the benefits of sport and health and in covering the incurred cost. 

1 Eurobarometer of Sport and Physical Activity, European Commission, September 2022

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