Whether you prefer to play singles or doubles, table tennis (which is also referred to as ping pong) is a fast-paced, highly competitive sport. Like all sports, it has its pros and cons.
The pros include improvements in heart health, muscle function, and brain cognition while the cons include the possibility of blisters and that the game has to be played indoors.
Here’s a more in-depth look at the advantages and disadvantages of playing table tennis.
Advantages of Playing Table Tennis
Easy on the joints.
If you play sports regularly, you have a higher chance of developing joint problems: aches, pains, and stiffness. This is because sports tend to put a lot of strain on the body’s joints.
Table tennis is a sport that’s easy on the joints. It doesn’t put a ton of pressure on them or cause them damage, compared to other sports like football, basketball, and soccer etc, which makes it ideal for people with existing joint issues.
A good old game of table tennis can help you improve both fine and gross motor functions. The quick bursts of intense exertion followed by short periods of recovery help to build fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are helpful for completing bigger and more powerful movements.
Stimulates the brain.
Table tennis involves a great deal of strategic planning. You hit the ball and within seconds your opponent is hitting it back to you, leaving you only a few seconds to try and decipher what their next move will be. This happens in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
The physical activity involved in the game stimulates the hippocampus.
Helps prevent dementia.
Alzheimer’s Weekly reported that people who play table tennis regularly benefit from motor skills and cognitive awareness improvements.
In Japan, clinical studies were done that found that table tennis improves blood flow to the brain. This indicates that there might be a link between regular table tennis games and the prevention of dementia.
While table tennis won’t keep you fit and ready to run a marathon, it can help you burn off that extra cupcake. The quick movements, fancy footwork, and sweating that comes from an intense game of table tennis is a great way to burn off extra calories.
If you’re playing competitively, you can burn up to 570 calories per hour of table tennis!
Not only does your reflexes improve, but so does your balance. Table tennis requires its players to move back and forth, stretch forwards onto one foot, pivot, and jump — all of which are actions that can help you maintain and improve your balance.
Strengthens social connections.
When you play a game of table tennis with a friend, you’re effectively strengthening the bond between the two of you. When you play with a stranger during a tournament or at a club, you’re forming new social connections and growing your social circle.
Improves heart health.
Thanks to the fact that you’re constantly moving while playing, table tennis is beneficial to the heart. It gets your blood pumping, improving cardiovascular strength and supplying the heart with fresh blood and plenty of oxygen.
Disadvantages of Playing Table Tennis
Cannot be played outside.
Table tennis is almost always an indoor game. It’s possible to set up the table tennis net outside, of course, but when it comes down to ease of use, trying to play outside doesn’t tend to go well.
This is because the ball is very light. It’s lighter than a badminton birdie and because of this, every tiny gust of wind blows it away or off course.
Possibility of blisters.
When you hold something for a long time, you run the risk of developing blisters. This is a risk with table tennis since you’re holding the paddle for long periods of time. You might also develop blisters on your feet from standing.
If you enjoy playing with groups of people, table tennis isn’t the game for you. This game is a two-person only game and always has been. It likely always will be, too, as the way the game is played would make it hard to factor in more players.
So, as you can see, table tennis has more advantages than advantages. It’s great for the heart, mind, muscles, joints, and offers some amazing benefits! It’s a fantastic way to strengthen connections with loved ones and friends.
Its disadvantages are minor and few and far between, with the most notable being the possibility of developing annoying blisters.