Golf, like many other sports, has long been associated with numerous health benefits. Doing quick research on the net will show a number of studies done about the positive effects of playing golf. For example, a study by the University of Edinburgh shows that golf can increase life expectancy by five years. Meanwhile, a study in 2018 cites that a game of golf can help alleviate mental health issues.
This year, another study adds to the list of proof that golf is beneficial to our overall well-being. The result of research by the Zeenat Quereshi Stroke Institute shows that playing golf can lead to a longer life. In the said study, 5,900 people (with an average age of 72) were observed for ten years. Out of all the participants, 384 were noted to play golf at least once a month. From 1989 to 1999, all participants underwent annual clinical exams as well as health checkups every six months.
The study revealed no difference in the incidence of heart attack between those who play golf and those who don’t. However, the researchers saw that the death rate of participants who are regular golfers are 8% lower than non-golfers. While this research is not evidence that golf can reduce the risk of stroke, it does present regular golfing as an activity that can prevent early death. The researchers also see golf as an ideal sport to recommend to older adults. This is because aside from its low-impact and relaxing pace, golf also opens doors for social interaction.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Adnan Qureshi, said, “Due to its social nature and controlled pace, people often maintain motivation and the ability to continue playing the sport even in older age and after suffering a heart attack or stroke. While walking and low-intensity jogging may be comparable exercise, they lack the competitive excitement of golf. Regular exercise, exposure to a less polluted environment and social interactions provided by golf are all positive for health.”
The Other Hand
However, Dr. Ulf Ekelund, a sports medicine professor from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, said that the study led by Qureshi needs more proof that golf can indeed prevent early death. He noted that the research forgot to consider other factors. Factors that may have led to the early death of non-golfers who are included in the study. Likewise, the study did not specify if they used a golf cart or spent hours walking while on a course.
Ekelund said, “Other studies have consistently shown that physical activity of any intensity is associated with a reduced risk of death. If older individuals like to play golf, they should continue, but I am sure regular walking is equally good for health and longevity.”
The study by Quereshi proves that golf is an amazing sport for older people who want to stay active. This gives you a great reason to treat yourself and your loved ones into a golf getaway! The Phoenix-Scottsdale area, with its more than 200 world-class golf courses is a top destination to consider. Another plus is that you have a team of golf tourism experts here to help you plan a memorable holiday – the Pinnacle Golf Vacations! Simply fill out our online form for a quick quote!