Maintaining a good work-life balance can be difficult, so unless you have a physically demanding job, most people will spend many hours a day sitting down. Such a sedentary daily routine can have serious consequences on your health and productivity. Golf can help you get active, burn calories, stay in shape, lower cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and research shows it may even help you live longer. A Swedish study found the death rate for golfers is 40% lower which corresponds to a five year increase in life expectancy.

1. Reduce stress levels

Outdoor exercise in a green space can help reduce stress levels, enhance mood and even improve your self-esteem. You’ll find it far easier to stick with outdoor exercise, like golf, because it’s more appealing and fun than an indoor workout.

2. Natural light

Playing golf gets you outdoors for several hours at a time so you’ll maximise your exposure to daylight to help beat the winter blues.

3. Fresh air

A University of Essex study shows that exercising outdoors surrounded by nature boosts your physical and mental health more than going to indoor gyms – and burns up to 20 per cent more calories because your body needs extra energy to stay warm.

4. More energy

Wrapping up and heading outside on a crisp, cold day will make you feel alive and invigorated. There’s no such thing as ‘bad’ weather if you have the right clothes so head outside for a game of golf and you’ll feel on top of the world through the winter.

5. Feel-good chemicals

The combination of moderate exercise and swinging your clubs will get your blood pumping and trigger the release of natural mood-enhancing chemicals called endorphins.

6. Positive goals

Feeling aimless can make you feel low. Golf can help you set small, healthy and positive targets such as completing a round twice a month, improving your swing or meeting up with a friend for lunch and a game. With something to aim for you’ll feel better.

7. Feel great

Being outside in nature is good for your mental health and combining that with the exercise you get from playing the sport – and the social element of golf – boosts your brain’s natural feel good chemicals.

8. Keep active

You may walk around five miles and more than the daily recommended 10,000 steps when playing a game of golf. Playing regularly will help you easily achieve the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Treading the grassy terrain of the golf course burns more calories than a straightforward walk on concrete pavements.

9. Balance your lifestyle

When you have been stuck indoors all day, what better way to lift your mood and bring some healthy balance into your life than playing a sport among some of the country’s most beautiful green spaces? From tree-lined courses with lush grass, birdsong and wild flowers to links-courses with breath-taking views of the coastline, you’ll find yourself deep in the heart of nature when you play golf.

10. Boosts Vitamin D levels

Vitamin D maintains strong bones and muscle function and keeps your immune system healthy. Heading outside is a great way to keep your vitamin D levels topped through exposure to natural daylight. Nicknamed the ‘sunshine vitamin ‘this can help keep your bones strong by helping your body absorb calcium better.

11. Helps prevent Osteoporosis

Playing golf with its brisk walking and swinging action can help build strong bones and help guard against osteoporosis, a condition that makes bones more fragile and more likely to break.

12. Good to exercise outside

If your work is sedentary and you spend long hours sitting at a desk, it’s important to stay active. Golf is a great way to get moving and research shows that getting outside is great for your health and wellbeing. You can burn more than 900 calories and take over 10,000 steps when playing a game so it can help you stay in shape too.

Fun and enjoyment

13. It’s good for your heart

Golf’s powerful combination of stress-busting exercise, fresh air and camaraderie can help promote long term heart health. It can reduce blood pressure and raised cholesterol and cut your risk of stroke and diabetes - especially if combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

14. It can help you live longer

Golf’s unique combination of outdoor exercise and social interaction can help you live a longer, healthier life. Playing golf can help you live longer – and make those extra years healthier. Regular walking, such as the four hours it typically takes to play a round of golf, can help ward off dementia.

15. It’s better than a fast and furious gym session

Golf burns more calories than you’d think: playing an 18-hole game of golf burns at least 900 calories. Golf also combines all the known weight-loss benefits of walking combined with the toning and muscle strengthening benefits of swinging the clubs and carrying or pulling your golf bag. During the average game of golf you can walk around five to six miles.