Feb 11th, 2017
Play golf, live longer it's just science
Golf. Is there anything it can't do?
Words: Florida Dayton
Is there anything golf can't do? Not only is it the greatest, coolest, most fantabulous sport in the world, it's now been scientifically proven to be a genuine elixar of life. It's the washing machine for the brain. Golf makes you live longer. Fact. It's good for your health.
Playing golf is likely to increase life expectancy, help prevent chronic diseases and improve your mental health no matter your age, gender or background, a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows.
Researchers reviewed 5,000 studies into golf and wellbeing to build a comprehensive picture of the sport’s health benefits, as well as its potential drawbacks.
Findings show that golf is likely to improve cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health, while it can also help those who suffer chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and strokes.
The physical benefits of golf increase with age, researchers from the University of Edinburgh said, while balance and muscle endurance in older people are improved by playing the sport.
The study, which is part of the Golf & Health Project and led by the World Golf Foundation, found that golfers typically burn a minimum of 500 calories over 18 holes (really?!, it feels like more – Ed), while increased exposure to sunshine and fresh air were found to be additional benefits.
Lead researcher Dr Andrew Murray, from the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh, 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.”
Padraig Harrington, a vice-captain at the 2016 Ryder Cup, three-time major champion and Golf & Health Ambassador, said: “I have seen how impactful golf can be on peoples’ wellbeing – now it’s time to get this message out there.”
Fellow ambassador Annika Sorenstam, a 12-time major champion, said: “I strongly believe playing golf helps people stay fit, active and healthy. The Golf & Health Project will help all of us better promote the sport’s physical and mental benefits.”
So the next time your other half says "You're not going golfing again are you?!" just refer him or her to this article. Assuming of course that your other half wants you to, ... y'know,... be alive and all that...
Golf. Just keep on golfin'.