Golf & Healthiness

Low Handicap, longer life - more and more studies confirm: golfers live longer. Why the game on the greens makes fitter and keeps healthy - and what current research results reveal.

Of course, everyone is stoked by their own sport and thinks they are in the pole position when it comes to health benefits. But the days when devotees of other activities laughed about golfers are long ago. Because in the meantime countless scientific papers prove: The training effect of the lawn game can be compared with that of others. Golf even has what it takes to be a veritable anti-aging hit because it can save you from chronic illnesses and prolong your life by a good five years. What golf enthusiasts feel every lap is increasingly being proven by more and more detailed research results: this sport makes it much easier to master life. Physically as well as mentally. And also in late years.

Fortunately, reaching old age is not all that experts can promise passionate golfers. After all, the number of data attesting to this sport preventive effect is increasing. The game on the green, however, increases the chances of long-term quality of life, as recently researchers around Andrew Murray from the University of Edinburgh proof: Golf promotes prevention and treatment of more than 40 chronic Illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer can reduce the risk of stroke and dementia and reduce depression.

Conclusion of the study authors: It is appropriate to encourage physicians and decision-makers to inspire more people for the sport of golf, because it contributes much to the health of the cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous and metabolic system with only a moderate risk of injury.


The list of what makes golf a health sport in detail would go beyond the scope of any newspaper article. Here are some examples shortly.

  • Healthy in old age: Modern aging research emphasizes that besides nutrition, exercise and a healthy lifestyle, social aspects also play an important role when it comes to long-term health. The multiple benefits of golf are obvious: it can be practiced by people of all ages. Each round provides movement as well as sufficient daylight that stimulates the skin to produce the important vitamin D. And there are always like-minded people in the golf club - so it's easy to make social contacts here.
  • Fit instead of "lazy": Golf offers moderate physical activity in the aerobic area. And that goes beyond the generally recommended minimum level of health maintenance, according to the latest study from the University of Edinburgh. Of course, intensity and calorie consumption vary depending on skill, pace, duration, nature of the greens (eg hilly or flat) and basic constitution of the player. 

However, framework values established by the researchers are a good testimony to the sport as an effective fitness activity:

  • Energy consumption at 18 holes: 531 to 2467 calories
  • Step count without cart: between 11.245 and 16.667
  • Step number with cart use: around 6,280
  • Muscle on correct stroke: 124 out of 434 muscles become active

A gain in muscle mass reach by playing golf especially older semester. In terms of fat burning and power of the respiratory system, however, experts benefit golfers of all ages.

Play often, live longer

Physical inactivity is considered one of the top five causes of death in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia (Global Burden of Disease Study, 2010). According to a Swedish study, golfers have a higher life expectancy than non-golfers. Recent data suggest that the health benefits of this sport (but also other sports) are increasing, not just twice a week but more often.

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