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Benefits

"Table tennis: anybody, anytime, anywhere"
By Alan Williams
Dateline: 11/02/99

Throughout the world, people play table tennis for exercise, recreation and social outlet. In fact, it trails only soccer as a participant sport. Little understood and lightly regarded in The United States, table tennis offers several advantages as a life sport that have caused it to be embraced by millions of players worldwide.

Little risk of injury
As a non-contact sport, using a ball that weighs only a few grams, table tennis is practically a risk-free sport. Table tennis players do not run the risk of being struck by lightning, breaking bones, banging heads, concussion, or being mistaken for a deer.

Physical benefits
Table tennis, when played competitively, has an impressive list of physical benefits, the most obvious of which is eye-hand coordination. The speed, spin and placement of the ball are crucial, and practiced players are expert in both creating and solving puzzles involving these three attributes.

Improved reflexes result because of the fast-paced nature of the sport over very short distances. Both gross and fine muscle movements are improved. The game is distinguished by bursts of exertion and recovery, leading to fast-twitch muscle development. Over the course of play, a fair, yet not extreme, amount of aerobic activity occurs. Players can set their own level of involvement.

Mental benefits
Table tennis is accurately described as 'high-speed chess'. The mental alertness encouraged by the sport's tactical challenges is particularly good for seniors. The ability to concentrate on applying a tactic is good for all ages. Table tennis is available year-round as a social outlet. It is one of the few sports in which size, age, and sex are irrelevant competitive factors. This aspect has led to it's adoption as the world's most popular life sport and the slogan "table tennis: anybody, anytime, anywhere".