Golf fans at this week’s Solheim Cup can improve their health and wellbeing while following the action at Gleneagles.
Almost 100,000 people are anticipated to attend the Europe v USA contest and research has estimated that spectators may walk five to six miles during one round at Gleneagles, burning more than 1000 calories and taking more than 11,500 steps.
The Golf and Health Project features leading studies undertaken by University of Edinburgh in partnership with The World Golf Foundation and The R&A. Led by the European Tour Chief Medical Officer Dr Andrew Murray, the research analysed the health of wellbeing associated with golf, both from a playing and spectating perspective.
Playing regularly was associated with improved physical health, wellbeing and length of life. Based on the average steps taken by spectators in Scotland, and an attendance of 100,000, spectators at the Solheim Cup could collectively walk the equivalent of 20 times around the 25,000-mile circumference of the Earth.
The research also showed that spectators also enjoy the benefits of fresh air, time with friends and family, and green space and connection with nature.
Further study showed that when spectators hear about the health benefits of walking from their favourite golfers, it can inspire them to be more active after the event, potentially providing a health legacy. Indeed 40% of spectators reported being more active three months after receiving health promoting messages at a European Tour event.
This could be extremely important as physical inactivity is responsible for more than 3m deaths worldwide – and a lack of activity kills six Scots every day. In recent events, more than 82% attendees met or exceeded their recommended physical activity while spectating; with 60% of those interested in becoming more physically active post-event.
Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, said, “I warmly welcome this research from the Golf and Health Project which emphasises the health benefits of attending the 2019 Solheim Cup at iconic Gleneagles. The findings prove that spectating at a golf event is an active pursuit.
“While the primary factor for fans will be seeing up close the best of USA and Europe battle it out for the greatest prize in women’s golf, the supplementary benefits are almost as compelling. The more spectators explore the beautiful golf course, the greater the impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.
“With a wealth of measures in place to make the Solheim Cup as accessible as possible, these benefits can be widely enjoyed. It’s a win-win situation and one we are keen to highlight because we want to create a memorable experience for everyone who attends.”