Healthy Aging

  • Characterization of Golf Participation

    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
    amdubois@usc.edu
    909-223-3885

    IRB # HS-15-00038


    Golf Intervention for Veterans Exercise (GIVE) Study

    Given the balance, speed, strength, cardiovascular, flexibility, cognitive, motor skill, and social requirements of golf participation, we believe that golf is a uniquely comprehensive intervention that can be used to promote well-being and improved quality of life in older Veterans. Thus, we plan to investigate the feasibility, adherence, efficacy, and safety of a 12-week golfing program designed for ambulatory older-adult (age 60-80) Veterans. We are collaborating with the West Los Angeles Veteran’s Administrations’ Heroes Golf Course (HGC), to conduct the investigation and will use professional golf instructors who regularly train Veterans novel to golf participation.

    Primary Study Aims:
    1. To enroll a sample of 25 healthy, ambulatory, older-adult (60-80 years of age) US Veterans whom do not currently golf, into a 12-week senior golf program designed for older-adults.
    2. To examine the efficacy (change in walking biomechanics, strength, flexibility, functional performance, balance, & quality of life) of the golf program.
    3. To examine the safety (reported adverse events) of the 12-week senior golf program.
    4. To examine the adherence, of a 12-week golf program, designed for older-adult Veterans.

    For more information, please contact:
    Andrea Du Bois
    Study Coordinator
    amdubois@usc.edu
    909-223-3885

    IRB # HS-15-00352