Aside from being a fun way to spend an afternoon with your family and friends, table tennis also offers surprisingly great health benefits. Like most sports, table tennis offers great mind-body stimulation, aerobic exercise, and social interaction. Unlike many sports, however, the overall risk for injury with table tennis is quite low.
Some of the many health benefits of table tennis include:
- Improving hand-eye coordination. An intense game of table tennis stimulates mental alertness and concentration and develops mental acuity.
- Improving reflexes. Due to the fast-paced, short-distance nature of the sport, both gross and fine muscle movements are improved.
- It’s easy on the joints. Table tennis is the perfect choice for people who had knee surgery, history of back problems, or simply those who are tired of twisting their ankles while playing some other sports.
- It burns calories. Hate going to the gym? Try table tennis instead. It's a fun & easy way to burn calories.
- It’s a social sport. Social interaction is very important for mental health. In a world so connected through technology, people are feeling more and more disconnected from each other. Table tennis offers you a chance to #UnPlugNPlay, step away from the screen, and bond with the person on the other side of the ping pong table.
- It keeps your brain sharp. Renowned physician, psychiatrist and brain imaging expert, Dr Daniel Amen, calls table tennis “the world's best brain sport” because it is highly aerobic, uses both the upper and lower body, and is great for eye hand coordination and reflexes. Table tennis also utilizes many different areas of the brain simultaneously as you are tracking the ball, planning shots and strategies, and figuring out spins.
- Table tennis is utilized a treatment for dementia. Five years ago, the Sport and Art Educational Foundation started a table tennis therapy program, which was designed for seniors with early stage Alzheimer's and various forms of dementia. Because table tennis activates various areas of the brain simultaneously, players can stimulate their overall state of awareness.
- It improves balance. Staying balanced and being able to quickly change direction is key to being a good table tennis player. The more you play, the more you can improve your sense of balance.
Table tennis helps you build strength, speed, and agility without risking serious injury. There a millions of serious sports-related injuries every year in the United States, but with table tennis you can get all the health benefits of an Olympic sport without risking injury. Convinced that table tennis is awesome? It’s time to grab a paddle and #UnPlugNPlay!