Golf adds years to your life
Golf is good for you according to a study of 300,000 Swedish golfers.
The study, by the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet, found that the death rate for golfers was 40% lower than for other people of the same sex, age and social status - equal to a 5 year increase in life expectancy. Golfers with the lowest handicaps did best.
Professor Anders Ahlbom, led the study with Bahman Farahmand is not surprised at the result, as he believes that there are several aspects of the game that are proved to be good for the health.
'A round of golf means being outside for four or five hours, walking at a fast pace for six to seven kilometres, something which is known to be good for the health,' he says. 'People play golf into old age, and there are also positive social and psychological aspects to the game that can be of help.'
The study does not rule out that other factors than the actual playing, such as a generally healthy lifestyle, are also behind the lower death rate observed amongst golfers. However, the researchers believe it is likely that the playing of the game in itself has a significant impact on health.
Golf players have a lower death rate regardless of sex, age and social group. The effect is greater for golfers from blue-collar professions than for those from white-collar professions. The lowest rates are found in the best players - those with the lowest handicap.
'Maintaining a low handicap involves playing a lot, so this supports the idea that it is largely the game itself that is good for the health,' says Professor Ahlb.
Page created on June 2nd, 2008
Page updated on January 12th, 2010