PLAYING golf once a month can reduce the risk of an early death, a study has announced.

A ten-year study of nearly 6000 people found that those in their seventies who played golf regularly, were more likely to be alive a decade later.

The study is based on data from the Cardiovascular Health Study, which is believed to be the first of its kind evaluating the long-term health benefits of golf, suggests that the risk of an early death was being cut almost in half.

One in seven of those who played the sport died during the study, compared to one in four of those who didn’t play.

One of golf’s benefits apart from physical exercise is to reduce stress.

In addition, people can continue to play the sport even after a heart attack or a stroke, because of the controlled nature of the game.

Adnan Qureshi, a neurologist at the University of Missouri and lead author of the study, said: “While walking and low-intensity jogging may be comparable exercise, they lack the competitive excitement of golf.

“Regular exercise, exposure to a less polluted environment and the social interactions provided by golf are all positive for health.

“Another positive is that older adults can continue to play golf, unlike other more strenuous sports such as football, boxing and tennis.”

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