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Improved physical health in middle-older aged golf caddies following 24-weeks of high-volume physical activity

Sorbie, Graeme, Williams, Ashley, Carter, Sophie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2815-7360, Campbell, Amy ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3711-3896, Glen, Jonathan, Lavalle, David, Sculthorpe, Nicholas, Murray, Andrew and Beaumont, Alexander ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5773-6356 (2023) Improved physical health in middle-older aged golf caddies following 24-weeks of high-volume physical activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 21 (2). pp. 134-145.

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Background: The physical demands of golf caddying, including walking whilst carrying a golf bag, may potentially affect body composition, and markers of metabolic, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal health. Therefore, this study examined the impact of 24-weeks of caddying on physical health in middle-older aged males.
Methods: Eleven full-time experienced male caddies (age: 59±8 years; caddying experience: 14±12 years) were recruited from a local golf course. The following were assessed at pre-season and after 24-weeks of caddying (March-September 2022): body composition, heart rate, blood pressure, blood lipids, and performance tests (static and dynamic balance, strength, and sub-maximal fitness). Physical activity levels were assessed at pre-season and at the mid-point of the caddying season. Across the caddying season, participants completed a monthly average of 24.0±3.8 rounds.
Results: Following the caddying season, improvements in static balance (Δ= 13.5s), dynamic balance (Δ= -1.8s), and lower-back absolute strength (Δ= 112.8N) and muscle quality (Δ= 2.0N/kg) were observed (all p<0.05). Additionally, blood lipids, including total cholesterol (Δ= -0.6mmol.L-1), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (Δ= 0.14mmol.L-1), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (Δ= -0.61mmol.L-1) (all p<0.05), and body composition, including body mass (Δ= -2.7kg), fat mass (Δ= -1.9kg), fat percentage (Δ= -1.4%), fat-to-muscle ratio (Δ= -0.03), and body mass index (Δ= -0.9kg·m2) (all p<0.05) improved. Caddying did not offer beneficial changes to cardiovascular variables or cardiorespiratory fitness (p>0.05), while coronary heart disease risk score decreased (Δ= -3.3%) (p<0.05). In relation to physical activity, light (Δ= 145min) and moderate (Δ= 71min) intensity physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (Δ= 73min), and total physical activity (Δ= 218min) between pre-season and the mid-point of the caddying season increased, while sedentary time (Δ= -172min) decreased (all p<0.05).
Conclusion: Golf caddying can provide several physical health benefits such as improvements in various markers of cardiometabolic health, lower back absolute strength, and static and dynamic balance. The physical health improvements that caddying offers is likely contributed to by increased physical activity volume and intensity through walking on the golf course. Therefore, caddying may represent a feasible model for increasing physical activity volume and intensity and achieve physical health related benefits.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2023-0288
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QP Physiology
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/8835

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