There’s something distinctive about desk tennis | –

ITTF’s Parkinson’s World Desk Tennis Championships shines gentle on the social and well being advantages of enjoying desk tennis for folks with Parkinson’s.
The ITTF Taking Parkinson’s World Desk Tennis Championships will happen in Berlin from September 9 to 11. On this visitor article, Professor Lars Bo Kaspersen from Copenhagen Enterprise Faculty, additionally a Parkinson's warrior, shares with us how the Danish society promotes a more healthy way of life by desk tennis amongst an older demographic.
A brand new nationwide well being coverage agenda is rising for the developed international locations, and desk tennis will doubtless change into a giant a part of the well being promotion revolution within the coming two to a few a long time.
Developed international locations are combating a serious ageing downside. The fastest-growing group of individuals in virtually each single industrialised nation contains these above the age of 70. A lot analysis is being performed to lengthen human life, together with analysis into higher meals and vitamin, drugs, and well being care techniques, which has contributed to a demography with extra folks dwelling longer. Individuals have been given an extended and wholesome life, and though many get pleasure from good well being, extra will in some unspecified time in the future face abnormal ageing issues or ailments and defects. These frequent ageing processes are a part of life. However a whole lot of science appears to counsel that we might help postpone, no less than components of, the ageing course of, so we will get pleasure from extra years with out too many issues.  
Is that even attainable? Sure, it’s fairly easy, and we already realize it. You could transfer! Sports activities, dancing, strolling and biking all assist. However there’s something particular about desk tennis.
Desk tennis is an affordable sport in comparison with many others. And it doesn’t require a lot area. A desk tennis desk might be positioned virtually anyplace! As well as, the sport is comparatively simple to be taught, and also you not often get severely injured. Not like a number of different sports activities, it may be practised all through your entire life into very previous age. Desk tennis is, subsequently, the perfect sport for older folks.
That is supported by the present, though not very intensive, analysis from Australia, USA and Canada. Primarily based on all the outcomes and observations, it’s said that desk tennis stimulates blood circulation, improves bodily health, enhances hand-eye coordination, and gently stimulates a number of areas of the mind. This data has resulted in desk tennis in Denmark, amongst different international locations, gaining an explosive improve in participation within the age group from 60 years and up.
About three years in the past, some enterprising folks related to the Danish Desk Tennis Affiliation and the Danish Gymnastics and Sports activities Associations (DGI) took the initiative to begin up new golf equipment throughout Denmark to supply seniors above the age of 60 desk tennis actions. The initiative, which has been named “The 60+ Motion” is now extremely popular. Roughly 4,000 folks seniors meet 1-5 instances every week to play. Many follow within the morning as a result of at the moment the leisure centres, sports activities golf equipment and halls, and personal services are empty, since most children play within the afternoon and adults play within the evenings.
The variety of golf equipment and associations which have a bit for 60+ can be rising in a short time. In every week in early September, golf equipment and associations throughout Denmark open their doorways to new members. Throughout this week, they will pop in and check out the sport freed from cost. Extra skilled members present the newcomers how you can play, give them some workouts, or educate them the principles of the sport.
An increasing number of seniors now play desk tennis. A number of individuals expressed being very glad enjoying the game. Most of them had by no means performed earlier than, however picked up the fundamentals in a short time. Furthermore, all of them claimed that desk tennis is nice enjoyable! The health centre is perhaps environment friendly however it’s removed from amusing; somewhat, it may be lethal boring.
Desk tennis as a technique to a greater and extra pleasurable previous age is supported by analysis displaying that this can be very useful in treating neurological issues equivalent to Parkinson's, Alzheimer’s and different types of dementia. This brings me again into the story once more. At a comparatively younger age, in my late 40s, I used to be identified with Parkinson's, a neurological dysfunction through which the mind's capacity to provide dopamine is impaired. Signs of the illness embody shaking, muscle stiffness, steadiness issues, difficulties with strolling and speech, and so on.
Neurologists and physiotherapists repeatedly pressured that remedy might assist me considerably, however the essential factor for my high quality of life and mobility was steady bodily train. I’ve all the time beloved sports activities, so I used to be motivated to extend my coaching. Nevertheless, when you need to do workouts for no less than an hour a day, it may be boring, within the lengthy, run to stay to the gymnasium or jogging. Due to this fact, I returned to desk tennis, and I’ve been practising for a couple of years. It’s enjoyable and has a giant impact, particularly on my steadiness. I’m satisfied that the a part of the analysis that claims that desk tennis has some particular qualities to Parkinson's Illness is true. For desk tennis is one thing very particular.
I’m additionally satisfied that the popularity of the particular qualities of desk tennis regarding ageing processes and the various examples of enhancements within the every day lives of individuals with neurological issues will result in a quiet revolution within the prevention and therapy of such issues within the Danish inhabitants. Now we have the prospect to change into a chief mover within the struggle towards ageing and severe ailments. Preventive well being care work is significant, and right here it is very important encourage as many individuals as attainable to play desk tennis often. Because of this, sooner or later, we should embody sport in our well being care methods towards ageing.
This requires a brand new and totally different well being coverage technique. It necessitates shut interplay between voluntary associations, foundations, non-public actors, firms and the general public sector, to develop providers for a lot of totally different teams in society. We want extra desk tennis tables all over the place – in purchasing centres, nursing properties, municipal exercise centres, colleges and workplaces. Desk tennis golf equipment ought to be capable to supply instruction and coaching of coaches, educators and nursing employees. It is a new section within the growth of the welfare state: the experimental welfare state, the place flexibility and cooperation between private and non-private staff and professionals and volunteers is the attribute characteristic.
In Denmark, the quiet revolution has already began. Desk tennis golf equipment within the nation are already within the technique of creating providers for the Danish inhabitants and are collaborating with municipalities, voluntary associations, and foundations. The non-public philanthropic basis TrygFonden has not too long ago made a big donation to Desk Tennis Denmark which, with assist from the Parkinson's Affiliation, will develop helpful desk tennis actions for Parkinson's sufferers. The revolution has begun!
I sincerely hope that inside the subsequent two or three years we’ll see the 60+ motion in Denmark change into a world phenomenon supported by ITTF, ETTU, and all nationwide desk tennis and sports activities federations, together with medical and well being organisations. For desk tennis is one thing particular!
Lars Bo Kaspersen is a Professor of Politics at Copenhagen Enterprise Faculty, a desk tennis fanatic and identified with Parkinson's Illness.
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