Labour MSP James Kelly said there was no doubt that if we had a fitter and healthier nation it would help boost the economy, increase work performance by 5% and reduce sick days by 27%.
Mr Kelly was leading a member's debate to highlight the positive impact that sport can have on people across Scotland's communities on 7 October 2010.
He said that the 2014 Commonwealth Games represented an excellent opportunity to improve public health and to contribute to Scotland's economy.
SNP MSP Michael Matheson said it was important that sport budgets were "not seen as the soft option when it came to wielding the axe."
Schools and Skills Minster Keith Brown said the clear aim was to create an active nation and increase levels of physical activity in Scotland.
Mr Brown said sport could help bring economic benefits and make a significant contribution to Scottish society.