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A recent study showed the death rate for golfers to be 40 per cent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status. This corresponds to a 5 year increase in life expectancy.
The study, which is based on data from 300,000 Swedish golfers, doesn’t rule out factors such as golfers having a healthier lifestyle. Even so Professor Anders Ahlbom, who led the study with Bahman Farahmand, believes the game itself has a number of positive spin-offs.
"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," he says. "People play golf into old age, and there are also positive social and psychological aspects to the game that can be of help."
The study also showed golfers with a low handicap to be the safest. "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.
Source: Karolinska Institute