The weather has turned colder and winter is on the way. That said, there are still plenty of reasons to get out on the golf course, not least a recent report that suggests that golfers live up to five years longer than those who don’t golf.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine study reviewed 5,000 studies into golf and wellbeing and found the sport has physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages, and can even increase life expectancy by five years. The study highlights how the game helps golfers guard against 40 major chronic diseases such as diabetes, breast and colon cancer.
Lead researcher Dr Andrew Murray, from the physical activity for health research centre at the University of Edinburgh, said:
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.
(Full details about the BJSM research are available on the BJSM’s podcast).
As with many of the associated studies, there are caveats. These research studies underline the difficulty of pinpointing golf as the single variable in mortality rates. People with certain illnesses and certain health conditions may find it difficult to golf in the first place, hence golfers might be, by definition, more healthy than others. In addition to exercise, there may be stress-relieving benefits related to being outside, as well as social benefits related to golfing with friends and colleagues.
That said, increasing volumes of data from the fitness applications on our phones and fitbits are pointing to considerable calorific burn for every hour spent on the golf course – more if you’re walking and carrying your own clubs, of course, but even when you’re using a cart or buggy.
At Golf Like A Girl we’re all for hailing the social and physical benefits of golf. Our events are geared to enhance the benefits of the game, and we encourage everyone to catch up with friends on and around the golf course. If there’s any chance of a longer life for us all, even while the nights are drawing in a little earlier, then all the better!