Golf spectators gain health benefits while watching their heroes


The University of Edinburgh in conjunction with the Golf & Health Project have released new research into the health benefits of golf spectating, showing that those who attend golf events could potentially gain as many benefits as those playing in them.

The study is the first to assess spectator physical activity while watching golf, showing that of the spectators surveyed, 82.9% met the recommended daily step-count levels achieving on average 11,589 steps.

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

Surveyed spectators rated obtaining exercise/physical activity as an important reason for attending golf events, equal to their rating of seeing star players, being part of the ‘atmosphere’ around an event, and getting fresh air.  60% also said they would like to be more physically active.

These benefits and reasons for attending events could have benefits for event promoters in terms of engagement with spectators, local communities and funding organisations, along with wider public health implications in encouraging people to be more active more often.

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