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The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of flotation REST upon skilled and less skilled golfers’ anxiety in terms of physiological indicators of stress, self-rated anxiety scores, muscle tension, and the effect on golf putting. Prior to performing the putting task participants underwent a treatment of flotation REST or a period of resting in an armchair. Participants completed both treatments in a randomized order with a two-week interval. The results showed that both flotation REST and the armchair treatment reduced systolic blood pressure and heart rate, with no differences between treatments or athlete skill levels. No significant differences between treatments were revealed regarding self-ratings, level of muscle tension or putting precision. The results indicate that flotation REST may be useful for reducing negative symptoms related to stress and anxiety in general; however, no support for direct positive effects on golf performance were found.
Börjesson is with Dept. of Security, Strategy and Leadership, Swedish Defence University, Karlstad, Sweden; and also with Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden. Lundqvist is with Dept. of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University. Gustafsson is with the Faculty of Health, Science and Technology, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden; and also with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Karlstad University. Davis is with Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.