Most of us have enjoyed a game of table tennis at some point in our lives, but who knew that this simple game of ‘ping pong’ is now being hailed as ‘the world’s number 1 brain sport’, amazingly, the act of batting the lightweight ball back and forth to your opponent involves using up to five parts of the brain at the same time.
In 1997, Japanese scientists conducted a survey of around 3,000 elderly people playing the game; all experienced improvements in their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing and, amazingly, those who had brain illnesses ‘experienced a boost in brain function and awareness after just 2 minutes’.
This is particularly good news for anyone who is living with a dementia as this game could help delay progression of the disease that affects around 50 million people worldwide. Statistics show that this number is going to double every 20 years and is likely to reach 75 million by 2030! A huge amount of research is going on to find a cure for this devastating disease but in the meantime, any activity that halts or slows the onslaught is good news – and best of all is drug-free!
T3 Ping Pong is an innovative company that has done its own research into the benefits of playing the game; they now design their own bespoke tables suitable for group play. The tables are circular, rather than the traditional rectangular type, and have been designed specifically with those affected by Dementia and Alzheimer’s in mind. Players can either sit or stand when playing and the bats are specially designed to be lightweight and easy to grip. The balls are available in a variety of colours but research showed that many elderly people preferred a matt black table and solid net with vivid orange balls to aid easy tracking. They even do a smaller sized bat, aimed at children but which has proved to be better for anyone with weak or arthritic hands.
From the company’s early beginnings in 1979, their motto has always been ‘Two’s company, three’s a team’ and they are committed to encouraging everyone, young and old to play table tennis to boost their fitness, both for the body and for the brain.
To find out more about the benefits of T3 table tennis click here or go to http://www.t3pingpong.com/t3-elderly/