Measuring the effect of opportunity cost of time on participation in sports and exercise


Background: There is limited research on the association between opportunity cost of time and sports and exercise due to lack of data on opportunity cost of time. Using a sample of 14142 adults from Health Survey for England (2006), we develop and test a composite index of opportunity cost of time (to address the current issues with data constraint on opportunity cost of time) in order to explore the relationship between opportunity cost of time and sports participation. Methods: Probit regression models are fitted adjusting for a range of covariates. Opportunity cost of time is measured with two proxy measures: a) composite index (consisting of various indicators of wage earnings) constructed using principal component analysis; and b) education and employment, approach in the literature. We estimate the relative impact of the composite index compared with current proxy measures, on prediction of sports participation. Findings: Findings suggest that higher opportunity cost of time is associated with increased likelihood of sports participation, regardless of the time intensity of activity or the measure of opportunity cost of time used. The relative impacts of the two proxy measures are comparable. Sports and exercise was found to be positively correlated with income. Another important positive correlate of sports and exercise is participation in voluntary activity. The research and policy implications of our findings are discussed.

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Anokye, N. , Pokhrel, S. and Fox-Rushby, J. (2013) Measuring the effect of opportunity cost of time on participation in sports and exercise. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 380-392. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.35052.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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