Golf reduces risk of heart disease by 30%

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 21, 2017 13:17

It’s official, golf is good for you: A major study has found that people who play the game regularly are 30 per cent less likely to experience coronary heart disease than those who don’t.

The walking benefits of playing an 18-hole round at least once a week has been investigated by the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University, which finds huge health benefits.

Commissioned by England Golf and the Professional Golfers’ Association, the research reveals that golfers are 14 per cent more likely to report general good health than non-participants.

The social benefits of the game has also been linked to dementia prevention and the same study finds an identical percentage of risk reduction with coronary heart disease – 30 – can be applied to the reduction in risk of developing dementia.

“At a time when the NHS is becoming increasingly stretched, the industry-leading findings mark the first time the wider impact of any individual sport has been determined and reveal that every £1 spent on golf generates £1.17 worth of social benefits, a total of £1.8 billion,” states a spokesman for England Golf.

“It also identifies the value golf creates to society by improving health and contributing to the reduction of healthcare costs associated with key diseases in the process, which equates to 22 per cent of the total social value, some £403 million.”

The findings come as ukactive research director Dr Steven Mann has carried out extensive research on the potential for golf to help prevent and manage serious health conditions, such as dementia. He says the sport is a particularly useful intervention due to its broader appeal.

“Our data suggests that golf has the ability to attract key demographics that are notoriously difficult to engage in public health programming, such as men aged 45 to 65,” said Mann.

“We know that being physically active helps reduce the risk of dementia by up to 30 per cent and golf is a great way to achieve recommended exercise levels as it is a sport that can be enjoyed by all, as well as bringing the associated mental health benefits of being active.”

Nick Pink, chief executive of England Golf, says: “We are living in a time when there are more people aged over 65 than there are under 15. But, as we live longer, we become increasingly at risk of dementia, which has recently overtaken heart disease to become the biggest cause of death in England and Wales.

“This report and the various research and initiatives being undertaken across the country in regards to dementia and golf highlights that not only is golf an important preventative measure, it also plays a huge part in the lives of those already suffering with the disease. We hope that this important research will encourage more people to take up the sport earlier.

“Ultimately, we hope that a round of golf will become as much a part of people’s weekly routine as stocking up on groceries or enjoying Sunday lunch with the family.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 21, 2017 13:17
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1 Comment

  1. Gal September 3, 10:23

    Hi, lots of great news lately of the health benefits for all though probably more so encouraging people in later life to consider the health and social benefits – how about some BODY produces a poster that we can display in doctors surgeries etc etc. Also another thought that the majority of us struggle to engage youngsters in golf so why doesn’t some BODY (maybe R&A use some of the money that they’ve got from sky taking away the best media source for youngsters that we had on terrestrial tv) start a campaign to improve this?

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