Older people who get into the swing of playing golf, and take even miniature additional steps, can go a ‘fairway’ to improving their health, according to new research.
Researchers at The University of Notre Dame Australia have been investigating how people can continue with the sport into their autumn years.
A team from the School of Health Sciences, led by Senior Lecturer Dr Chris Joyce, recruited 53 seniors who played golf recreationally and split them into two groups, a ‘healthy’ group, and a ‘condition’ group made up of those who are affected by an age-related musculoskeletal condition such as osteoporosis, lower back pain, or arthritis.
After they took baseline assessments from each group, the ‘condition’ group underwent six weeks of golf-specific strength-based exercise intervention.
Dr Joyce said the physical results were “amazing,” and that golfing abilities improved as well.
“Most important was the feedback from the participants, including one participant who now plays pain-free, another who has won his club championship, and a visually impaired participant whose bone mineral density score had increased more in six weeks doing strength training than it had on medication for osteoporosis,” Dr Joyce said.
He said the results highlight both the benefits of regular exercise interventions and the health benefits that a low-impact sport like golf offers.
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