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Physical activity and health benefits gained from watching golf

By Deven Pamben    03 Aug 2017
The study found that spectators walked on average 11,589 steps /  USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images

Golf spectators walk more than 11,500 steps while watching the sport, according to a survey, helping fans gain health benefits from the physical activity involved.

The study, released by the University of Edinburgh in conjunction with the Golf and Health Project, is the first to assess spectator physical activity while watching golf.

It found that of the 339 spectators surveyed, 82.9 per cent met the recommended daily step-count levels (10,000), achieving on average 11,589 steps.

The research suggests that golf spectating can provide health enhancing physical activity; while also allowing spectators to spend time in green space, socialise with friends and family, and watch their sporting heroes compete.

Spectators rated obtaining exercise and physical activity as an important reason for attending golf events, and 60 per cent said they would like to be more physically active after the tournament.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, is part of the Golf and Health Project, which is led by the World Golf Foundation. The initiative aims to increase the understanding of golf in health and wellbeing.

Researcher, Dr Andrew Murray, from the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh, urged golf chiefs to emphasise the physical benefits of golf spectating.

He said: “These pilot findings show that golf spectators can gain physical activity that could benefit their health – while watching top quality sport at close quarters. This is something that could have huge implications in terms of event attendance and encouraging more people to get interested in the sport.”

Golf playing and spectating is popular in middle aged and older adults in North America, Europe and Asia. This demographic typically has lower levels of physical activity compared with younger adults and children.

Walking  Physical activity  Health 
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