A Framework and Model for Estimating the Individual Benefits and Costs of Exercise for Long Run Health

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This paper develops a computer spreadsheet framework and model for estimating the individual benefits and costs of exercise for long run health. The biological costs and benefits rest on solid production functions between exercise intensity levels, fitness levels, and two key indices of long run health outputs—probability of all cause mortality and an index of health care costs. The less certain monetary estimates of those costs and benefits come from reviews of the key literature. The resulting model of individual exercise costs and benefits provides a basis for individual long run health planning plus cost effective and cost benefit analysis of different exercise strategies. The latter, which uses the implicit value of life, may provide insights to the lack of consistent exercise and strategies to increase it.