Master's Theses


Health and Human Performance

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of playing golf on cardiovascular disease risk factors in female golfers and to describe differences in heart rate and walking distance between walking nine holes versus driving/riding a cart nine holes . A one-group pretest, post test was conducted on selected risk factors for heart disease. A description of heart rate and walking distance was included in the study. Golfing a minimum of 3 nine hole rounds of golf per week for 6 months was the treatment. 16 subjects were included in the risk factor data analysis and 15 were included in the analysis relating to the physical cost of golf participation. A multiple analysis of variance was performed to investigate possible differences between pre and post treatment risk factors for heart disease and physical activity levels, walking heart rate, carting heart rate, walking distance, and carting distance. Analysis of the data showed no significant reduction in systolic or diastolic blood pressure, blood glucose levels, total cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins, or low-density lipoproteins at the 95% confidence level. There was, however, a significant change in the total cholesterol/HDL ratio (p = 0.02). Mean total cholesterol/HDL ratio improved from 3.02 ± 0.77 to 2.86 ± 0.71. Total weekly physical activity levels did not change significantly. The average heart rate and walking distance for walking nine holes of golf was significantly higher (9 < 0.001) than the average heart rate and walking distance for riding a cart . Even though walking the course nearly doubled the distance walked compared to using a cart, carting involved more steps and distance than anticipated. A season of golf does not provide adequate activity to reduce most measurable risk factors for heart disease, while the change in total cholesterol/HDL ratio was statistically significant in this study , it is not clear that it was a clinically significant change . The total cholesterol/HDL ratio levels, as well as other risk factor levels, of these subjects were not elevated to begin with. Both walking and carting have the potential to contribute to daily accumulation of recommended levels of physical activity for maintaining or improving cardiovascular disease risk factors.


Dr. Greg Kandt

Date of Award

Fall 1999

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1999 Michael A. Leiker


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