British Journal of Sports Medicine
Researchers at Edinburgh University reviewed 5000 studies into golf and wellbeing to build a 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.
Playing golf could also can help prevent and treat over 40 chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and stroke.
The physical benefits of golf increase with age.
Balance and muscle endurance in older people are improved by playing the sport.
Golfers typically burn a minimum of 500 calories over 18 holes.
Golfers walking 18 holes can cover four to eight miles, while those using an electric golf cart typically chalk up four miles.
Increased exposure to sunshine and fresh air were found to be additional benefits.
The physical aspects of golf could also help reduce the risk of anxiety, depression and dementia, the researchers say.
“Evidence suggests golfers live longer than non-golfers, enjoying improvements in cholesterol levels, body composition, self-esteem and self-worth.