If you’re feeling a little stressed out, it might be time to hit the golf course. Yes, we’re serious.
A new study out of the United States has found that golf is a great stress reliever and can do wonders for your overall health, as reported by Men’s Health.
Researchers from the University of Missouri studied data from the Cardiovascular Health Study — a population-based observational study of risk factors for heart disease and stroke which ran from 1989 to 1999. This study included 5,900 adults with the average age being 72 years old.
The data showed that death rates among golfers (those who played at least once a month) was much lower compared to non-golfers — 15.1% to 24.6% respectively.
The researchers pointed to the positive effects golf has on your cardiovascular health, as well as its ability to lower cortisol levels, and we can’t forget the social aspect of golf which is incredibly good for you.
“While walking and low-intensity jogging may be comparable exercise, they lack the competitive excitement of golf,” said Adnan Qureshi, M.D., lead author and executive director of the Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Institutes and professor of neurology at the University of Missouri.
“Regular exercise, exposure to a less polluted environment and social interactions provided by golf are all positive for health. Another positive is that older adults can continue to play golf, unlike other more strenuous sports such as football, boxing and tennis. Additional positive aspects are stress relief and relaxation, which golf appears better suited for than other sports.”
The researchers weren’t able to pinpoint exactly why golfers had a lower risk of heart attack and stroke compared non-golfers, but they are currently analysing data to see what other health conditions may benefit from regularly playing golf.
As with other studies, there were downsides to this research as it wasn’t specified whether the golfers walked or rode in a golf cart while playing. There also wasn’t any comment on whether gender or race affected the findings.