Aging is associated with decreased cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and muscular strength, endurance and power. Furthermore aging is associated with increased body fat, impaired balance and mobility and slowed reaction time. These physiological changes increase the risk of falls in older adults. These changes can also affect the older adult’s ability to complete activities of daily living, thus reducing their quality of life. In order to maintain functional independence across the lifespan, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that older adults regularly engage in cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and balance activities.

Golf is a recreational activity that includes regular walking over uneven and often hilly terrain interspersed between high power golf swings, precise putts and various changes in body position including bending over to pick up a ball. In older adults, this walking is of moderate to high intensity and can thus be used to promote cardiovascular health. The golf swing is a high speed yet precise movement that requires coordinated movement of major muscle groups through a large range of motion. A successful golf swing is also dependent upon bilateral weight shift, rotation of the head and trunk and control of the momentum developed during the swing, thus challenging the dynamic postural control of the individual. On the other hand, the putt requires the individual to maintain a still position in order to appropriately modulate the power required for the putt —challenging the static postural control of the individual. Given the balance, speed, strength, cardiovascular, flexibility and motor skill requirements of golf, we believe that golf is a unique intervention that can be used to promote well-being and improved quality of life in older adults. We will thus be investigating the demands of golf in younger and older adults and we will be assessing their functional abilities as compared to age-matched non-golfers. 

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Du Bois
Study Coordinator


IRB # HS-15-00038