Acta Gymnica, 2018 (vol. 48), issue 1

Acta Gymnica 2018, 48(1):15-20 | DOI: 10.5507/ag.2018.004

Playing table tennis contributes to better agility performance in middle-aged and older subjects

Henrieta Horníková, Ladislava Doležajová, Erika Zemková
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Comenius University in Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Background: Both reaction time and agility times increase with advancing age. However, it is not whether and to what extent regular practise of sport such as table tennis contributes to faster decision-making and movement speed in middle-aged and older adults.

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare agility time in table tennis players and sedentary subjects of different ages and also to investigate the relationship between agility time and age in these groups.

Methods: Forty four young, early middle-aged, late middle-aged and older table tennis players and forty eight sedentary subjects of matched age performed the agility test consisting of movement reactions to visual stimuli.

Results: ANCOVA revealed a significant difference in agility time between table tennis players and sedentary subjects when the effect of age was controlled (F(1, 89) = 46.1, p < .001). Agility time was significantly shorter in early middle-aged (435.8 ± 35.6 ms and 483.8 ± 36.5 ms, respectively; p = .006), late middle-aged (481.0 ± 36.8 ms and 530.7 ± 31.8 ms, respectively; p = .004) and older (500.9 ± 24.4 ms and 564.5 ± 44.9 ms, respectively; p = .007) table tennis players than sedentary subjects. In addition, there was a significant relationship between agility time and age in sedentary subjects (rp = .73, p < .001) and table tennis players (rp = .53, p < .001).

Conclusions: Agility time is shorter in early middle-aged, late middle-aged and older (≥ 60 years) table tennis players compared to age-matched sedentary subjects (9.9%, 9.4%, and 11.3%, respectively).

Keywords: aging, agility test, athletes, sedentary

Received: October 14, 2017; Accepted: January 25, 2018; Prepublished online: February 19, 2018; Published: March 31, 2018Show citation

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Horníková, H., Doležajová, L., & Zemková, E. (2018). Playing table tennis contributes to better agility performance in middle-aged and older subjects. Acta Gymnica48(1), 15-20. doi: 10.5507/ag.2018.004.
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