The Human Capital Model – Making the Case for Sport

Richard Bailey PhD, ICSSPE Office
03/10/2015 16:42

Members may know that ICSSPE has been co-author and partner in the development of Designed to Move - a collaborative, international physical activity agenda that seeks to transform expectations and experiences of activity around the world (for more on Designed to Move, visit:


“Designed to Move is a framework for action.  It’s meant for the “changemakers”—people, companies, institutions and governments with the resources to turn this situation around. It’s for nations who want to invest in unleashing the human potential of their citizens.


“The impacts of what has become a widespread physical inactivity epidemic affect everyone in every nation. To put solutions into practice at scale, changemakers must align on what needs to be done and how. That is the purpose of Designed to Move.” (


This unprecedented initiative is grounded in research, which has been translated into accessible forms for the widest possible influence.  A central element of this research has been the Human Capital Model, which offers one of the most comprehensive treatments of the case for physical activity ever produced.


Despite the mounting evidence for the benefits of sports and other physical activities, there continues to be a general under-appreciation of their importance—both to individuals and the wider society.  When the value of activity is discussed, it tends to focus on a narrow range of issues, such obesity and coronary heart disease.  Physical health is important, of course, but it represents only a fraction of what science tells us are the full benefits of exercise.  For the first time, scientists and advocates fort sports have access to an unarguable case!