Health Benefits of Golf

New research suggests playing golf is linked to better health and longer life. 

According to Edinburgh scientists, playing golf can help prevent chronic diseases as well as improve physical and mental health.

The Scottish researchers examined about 5,000 studies into golf and discovered that the sport had tremendous health benefits for people of all ages, especially older people.  

The researchers claim that the sport can help older people improve muscle strength and balance as well as improve metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular health.

Playing golf can help prevent 40 different chronic diseases including:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Breast Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Heart Disease

According to the findings, it can also help lower the risk of:

  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Anxiety 

Dr. Andrew Murray, the lead researcher from the physical activity of health research centre at Edinburgh University said: 

We know that the moderate physical activity that golf provides increases life expectancy, has mental health benefits and can help prevent and treat more than 40 major chronic diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer.

“Evidence suggests golfers live longer than non-golfers, enjoying improvements in cholesterol levels, body composition, wellness, self-esteem and self-worth.

“Given that the sport can be played by the very young to the very old, this demonstrates a wide variety of health benefits for people of all ages.”

“One study in Sweden found regular golfers lived an average of five years longer than non-golfers.”

Dr. Murray went on to say only a small percentage of the human population play golf and it is important that more people play sport.

He said:

Anyone can play golf – from the age of four to 104 – and now there is six-hole golf and speed golf which is making it more accessible.

“We have to get away from the idea golf’s only a rich man’s sport – 78 percent of the courses across the world are available for the public to play on, not just members.”

The data from the study showed that golfers burn up more than 500 calories over 18 holes walking eight miles. Even those using a motorized golf cart walked up to 4 miles during their round. 

Golf professional and ambassador for the Golf and Health Project, Padraig Harrington said:

“The golf and health project is clearly taking an important step forward, shining a light on the benefits of our sport. I have seen how impactful golf can be on peoples’ wellbeing – now it’s time to get this message out there.”

The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and is part of the Golf and Health Project, led by the World Golf Foundation.

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