Golf Fans Get the Same Health Benefits as Star Players

Golf fans are among the healthiest sporting fans, researchers at Edinburgh University have found.

Published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the study established that most golf fans average over 10 000 steps per day—the number of daily treads recommended by the NHS. And they do it effortlessly while following their star players around the course. This way, they get the same benefits from golf as do the star players, researcher Dr. Andrew Murray said.  These benefits include increased mental and physical well-being as well as longevity, he added. That beats watching the entire event on TV.

So basically, watching golf enables you to do a lot of walking – the ultimate exercise. And the faster, longer and more often you walk, the better for you. It stimulates the heart, firms up the bones, and promotes weight loss and muscle building while decreasing your risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

The greatest advantage of watching golf, however, is the balance it brings to your life. Fans surveyed said they were drawn to golfing events for the exercise, healthy air, family quality time and the chance to watch the top golfers in action. We don’t pay enough attention to the enormous part that balance plays in making us happy, successful and productive. All too often, we put too much focus on just one area of our lives. That’s why active golf watching is so beneficial. It hits all the right balance notes.

Researchers from Edinburgh University working in tandem with the  Golf and Health Project of the World Golf Foundation used pedometer data to analyse golf spectators movements during the Paul Lawrie Match Play event at Archerfield Links, East Lothian in 2016. About 82 percent of spectators walked over 11,000 steps per day with men taking around 1800 more steps than women. Golf watchers can measure their own steps using a pedometer. It enables them to compare the number of steps they manage from tournament to tournament. This way they can try to exceed the recommended 10 000 steps per day.

Overall, the findings could be hugely significant in terms of increased attendance at golf events, because of the presumed health benefits of the walking involved. They may also help promote the sport’s public image. The research could particularly benefit the middle aged and elderly.  This demographic has already been found to enjoy watching golf but has lower rates of physical activity than younger groups.  There’s evidence that active golf watching is already being promoted at events such as the Ryder Cup.

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