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article imageStudy Says Golfers Live Longer

By Bob Ewing     May 31, 2008 in Lifestyle
The death rate for golfers is 40 per cent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status, which correspond to a 5 year increase in life expectancy.
If you are looking to increase your chances for a long life you may want to become a golfer. A new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet shows that the death rate for golfers is 40 per cent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status, which correspond to a 5 year increase in life expectancy.
If you do golf or decide to start golfing, become good at it because golfers with a low handicap are the safest.
Exercise is good for the health is not news but the expected health gains of particular activities are still largely unknown.
A research team has now presented a study of the health effects of golf – a low-intensity form of exercise in which over 600,000 Swedes engage.
The study is published in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, and is based on data from 300,000 Swedish golfers and shows that golf has beneficial health effects. The death rate amongst golfers is 40 per cent lower than the rest of the population, which equates to an increased life expectancy of five years.
“A round of golf means being outside for four or five hours, walking at a fast pace for six to seven kilometres, something which is known to be good for the health,” Professor Anders Ahlbom says. “People play golf into old age, and there are also positive social and psychological aspects to the game that can be of help.”
Other factors such as a health lifestyle are also behind the lower death rate observed amongst golfers. However, the researchers believe it is likely that the playing of the game in itself has a significant impact on health.
Golf players have a lower death rate regardless of sex, age and social group. The effect is greater for golfers from blue-collar professions than for those from white-collar professions.
“Maintaining a low handicap involves playing a lot, so this supports the idea that it is largely the game itself that is good for the health,” says Professor Ahlbom.
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