Golf ‘will make you live longer’31st August, 2012 by Alistair Dunsmuir
Being an active member of a golf club could add three and a half years to an elderly person’s life, a new survey has found.
Researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute analysed the lifestyles of 1,810 people aged over 75 for 18 years.
They found that regular exercise such as walking via a round of golf can increase life expectancy by up to two years. They also found that a further 18 months can be added to a life if that person has a rich circle of friends – which is often cited as a reason why elderly golfers join and stay at a golf club.
The report found that combining activities such as golf or swimming with other low risk lifetsyles such as not smoking could prolong life by four years even for people older than the age of 85. However it is unclear just how big an impact lifestyle choices have on a person if they are made after they have reached the age of 75.
The report, published in the British Medical Journal, concluded: “Our results suggest that encouraging favourable lifestyle behaviours even at advanced ages may enhance life expectancy.”
Professor of public health at King’s College London, Alan Maryon-Davis, added: “These results provide good evidence that even in your 70s it’s not too late to gain an extra few years to enjoy life by keeping active, living healthily and being involved in family and community.”
The average life expectancy for a man in the UK is 78, while for a woman it is 82, although trends suggest this will rise. In 1999 it was 75 for men and 80 for women.