Swim England has published a new report which claims swimming saved the UK health system £357m last year.
The National Governing Body's Value of Swimming report outlines how water-based activity helps people to ‘live longer, better, happier lives’, whilst also saving the NHS money as a result of reduced GP and psychotherapy visits. The report’s analysis found health savings made in dementia and strokes, as well as reducing anxiety and depression among those who swim.
The study’s research was collected on regular swimmers at more than 1,000 pools across England over the last year, with that data applied to research undertaken by Sheffield Hallam University using their Social Value Calculator, which quantifies the socio-economic benefits from health service and social care processes.
The NGB is now calling on the government and healthcare professionals to ‘maximise the benefits swimming can offer the nation’ by prescribing the sport to the wider public as a means of increasing the cost savings in health and social care.
Jane Nickerson, CEO of Swim England, said: “This report proves what those involved with swimming have known for a long time – that it truly has the power to help people live longer, better, happier lives.
“For the first time, it has highlighted how swimming saves our health and social care system hundreds of millions of pounds a year and the vital role it plays in tackling some of our biggest health conditions.
“However, we will only be able to maximise the benefits swimming can offer the nation by working in partnership with government, healthcare professionals and the wider swimming sector and we look forward to working together with them to deliver on the recommendations in the report.”