A new report from Queen’s University suggests physical inactivity is taking a growing toll on Canada’s health care system.

Study author Ian Janssen said direct and indirect costs related to physical inactivity reached around $6.8-billion in 2009, or about 3.7-per cent of all health care costs.

Janssen said the problem is a challenge to solve, since getting people to exercise more is not easy.

Data from Statistics Canada suggests only 15 per cent of Canadian adults are getting the recommended amount of weekly exercise.

Janssen said his estimates of physical activity levels throughout the country were based on Statistics Canada’s Health Measure Survey, which tracked the movements of some 5,000 participants using an accelerometer.

This data was combined with scientific literature on the risks physically inactive people run of contracting seven common chronic diseases, as well as figures from Health Canada estimating the cost of treating those conditions.

The report is published in the journal, Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.