Objective To investigate associations between markers of health and playing golf in an Australian population.
Methods Secondary analysis of data from the Australian National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey to compare selected health outcomes between golfers (n=128) and non-golfers (n=4999).
Results Golfers were older than non-golfers (mean±SD 57.7±14.2 years, 48.5±17.6 years, p<0.05). A higher proportion of golfers were overweight or obese compared with non-golfers (76% vs 64%, p<0.05), and golfers were more likely to have been diagnosed with ischaemic heart disease (IHD) at some time in their life (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.0 to 7.8). However, neither the risk of being overweight or obese (OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.9 to 2.2) or having been diagnosed with IHD (OR 2.1, 95% CI 0.8 to 5.8), were significant after controlling for age. Golfers were more physically active than non-golfers (8870±3810 steps/day vs 7320±3640 steps/day, p<0.05) and more likely to report high health-related quality of life (HRQoL) than non-golfers (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.0 to 3.3), but not after adjusting for physical activity (OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.9 to 2.2).
Conclusion Compared with non-golfers, golfers were more likely to be overweight or obese and to have been diagnosed with IHD, but not after adjusting for golfers being older. Golfers were more likely to report a higher HRQoL, but not after adjusting for golfers being more physically active. There may be an association between golfers being more physically active than non-golfers and reporting a higher HRQoL.