Research reveals golf makes you happy

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 1, 2017 06:50 Updated

A new study on exercise and wellbeing has found that people who walk regularly are generally much happier than those who do little or no exercise.

This is the latest out of several studies that have found physical and mental benefits from the walking involved in regularly playing golf.

The Central YMCA study, which doesn’t mention any specific sport but does call brisk 15-minute walks ‘regular exercise’, looked at 1,000 adults from across the UK and found that regular exercise causes a 13 per cent boost to wellbeing scores, while being less active depletes these scores by up to 19 per cent – unveiling a 32 per cent divide between the most and least physically active in society.

The research also reveals that those who lead physically active lifestyles attain the highest wellbeing scores – achieving 6.92 on an index of 10, against a national average wellbeing score of 6.13.

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In addition, almost half (44 per cent) of research respondents said they felt wellbeing at its highest when playing a sport or exercising.

Commenting on the findings, Rosi Prescott, chief executive at Central YMCA, said: “These results confirm something we at Central YMCA have been aware of for a long time – physical activity greatly impacts our overall wellbeing. Our organisation works with people every day to help them lead more active lifestyles so we see first-hand how increases in physical activity can impact your mood, wellbeing and ultimately happiness. So, we’re not surprised that the research has shown those who are more active typically enjoy wellbeing scores that are up to a third better than those who are less active.”

The report also uncovered that those who had found themselves becoming more active over the last three years demonstrated an eight per cent uplift in wellbeing scores, while those whose fitness levels had decreased saw their scores fall by over a fifth.

Chris Ness Novice competitor at British Open Speedgolf Championship 2015

Previous research from the Mental Health Foundation found participation in regular physical activity increases self-esteem, can help reduce stress and anxiety, and can work as a preventative measure when it comes to the development of mental health problems.

Rosi continued: “Now is a great time to reflect on whether we’re doing enough exercise in our daily lives. Even something as simple as a brisk 15-minute walk can make a world of difference. But don’t be fooled into thinking physical activity alone is the answer to better wellbeing – we need to ensure we have a good mix of exercise, mental stimulation and positive relationships in our lives if we want to truly reach our highest sense of wellbeing and self-satisfaction.”

For the full report findings please visit:


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 1, 2017 06:50 Updated
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  1. February 20, 02:06

    It doesn’t make me that happy!

    Reply to this comment
  2. February 20, 01:38

    Golf makes my wife happy

    Reply to this comment
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