Playing golf is likely to increase life expectancy, help prevent chronic diseases and improve your mental health, according to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has said.
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.
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.”