Golf can add years to your life

08 October 2016 - 02:00 By The Daily Telegraph

People who play golf live longer, a major study has found, as it shows the game helps to prevent 40 major chronic diseases such as diabetes, breast and colon cancer. Researchers reviewed 5,000 studies into golf and wellbeing and found the sport has physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages and can even increase life expectancy by five years.Balance and muscle endurance in older people are improved by playing golf and it is also likely to improve cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health.Golfing could also help those who suffer chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and stroke, as well as helping to reduce the risk of anxiety, depression and dementia, researchers found.Lead researcher Andrew Murray, from the physical activity for health research centre at the University of Edinburgh, said: "Evidence suggests golfers live longer than non-golfers, enjoying improvements in cholesterol levels, body composition, wellness, self-esteem and self-worth."Given that the sport can be played by the very young to the very old, this demonstrates a wide variety of health benefits for people of all ages.""One study in Sweden found regular golfers lived an average of five years longer than non-golfers."He added that only 55 million people - about 1% of the world's population - play golf and that it is important to increase numbers.Murray said: "Anyone can play golf - from the age of four to 104 - and now there is six-hole golf and speed golf which is making it more accessible.

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