Research Study Abstract

Quantifying the Intensity of Recreational Golf

  • Presented on May 28, 2014

Background: Participation in moderate physical activity (PA) as a means of eliciting health-related benefits is consistently recommended through the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines and the ACSM-AHA Physical Activity Recommendations. Many try to meet this requirement by participating in PA that fit both their functional abilities and personality. However, quantifying the intensity level of various forms of leisure PA can be difficult.

Purpose: To quantify the intensity levels between riding (R), walking using a pull-cart (PC), and walking while carrying a golf bag (W) to play 9 holes of golf.

Methods: Eighteen men and women (38±3.7yr; 88.9±4kg) played two separate nine-hole rounds on the same course, W and either R or PC. Participants wore an ActiGraph accelerometer during play and HR measurements were obtained before and within five minutes of completing each round. Data were analyzed using one way ANOVA with Tukey correction and are presented as mean ± SD. Significance was set at p<0.05.

Results: Total caloric expenditure during R (358kcal±88.4) was significantly lower than PC (601kcal±151) and W (714kcal±211), p<0.05. The relative intensities for R, PC, and W were 2.1METs, 3.6METs, and 3.5METs respectively. HR increased from Pre to Post within the R, PC and W groups (+8.3bpm±2.8, +26.7bpm±8.18, +17.7±5.8bpm; all p<0.05). The magnitude of change in HR was greater in PC vs. R (p=0.05). The HR responses to R, PC, and W were equivalent to 42%, 52%, and 49% of age-predicted maximal HR and 7%, 24% and 16% of heart rate reserve respectively.

Conclusions: The caloric expenditure data indicates that PC and W is moderate PA and therefore could be used to elicit health benefits from PA. However, PC and W were categorized as light and very light using HR methods to quantify PA intensity. The data suggests that it may be necessary to develop a more uniform method of quantifying the intensity of leisure PA, such as golf.


  • Stacey L. Beam
  • Timothy J. Meyler
  • Gregory F. Martel
  • G. William Lyerly


  • . Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC

Presented at

ACSM 2014 Annual Meeting