Study suggests golf lowers risk of early death among seniors


Study suggests golf lowers risk of early death among seniors

Golf may be more than just a great way to get outdoors, challenge yourself and have some fun.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri suggests that playing the game at least once month can also lower the risk of premature death in older adults.
Researchers analyzed data on nearly 6,000 seniors who participated in the Cardiovascular Health Study over the course of a decade. They found a significantly lower rate of death among golfers compared to non-golfers, 15 percent compared to 25 percent, respectively.


But what if you can’t enjoy the benefits of golf because an injury, discomfort or a lack of flexibility make it difficult to play?
Richard Morris, clinical conditioning coordinator at Tidelands HealthPoint Center for Health and Fitness may be able to help. He’s a Titleist Performance Institute-certified instructor who specializes in helping golfers identify and overcome problems that can impact their game.

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“I have patients come in with hip injuries, knee replacements, ankle problems, balance problems…the gamut,” says Morris, who is an avid golfer himself. “After doing a screening and analysis, I can usually find what the problem is right away. And I can then work with them to address that need.”
Strength and flexibility exercises, as well as training on proper form, can help golfers perform more efficiently on the course, reducing their risk of injury. Morris relies on his knowledge of the golf game and his expertise as an exercise physiologist to address the specific needs of golfers — a handy skillset to have in the golf capital of the Southeast.
“Golf instructors can help with things like form, but they don’t help the players with exercises,” he says. “I can design an exercise regimen that addresses their physiological issues, but is also ideal for them as golfers.”

Extra support

For patients that may need more therapy or recovery from an injury, Morris will refer them to the center’s in-house physical therapist.
He says he’s seeing more injuries among golfers in recent years because golf is becoming a much more physical sport than it once was.
Morris says that many of his patients report improvements in their golf game and overall health after seeing him.
“We have a lot of golfers in this area, and a lot of active seniors, too,” he says. “The most important thing is that they’re able to play pain free— but it’s also a huge benefit to them to know how to play better and to feel better after they’re done.”

Interested in learning more about the golf conditioning program at Tidelands HealthPoint? It’s open to members and non-members of the medical fitness center. For more information and to sign up, contact Richard Morris at 843-237-2205.

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