For Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May) we’re putting the spotlight on how table tennis can be used as a powerful tool to improve people’s mental well-being.
Research has shown that two thirds of us will experience a mental health problem in our lifetime.
While everyone knows that regular exercise is good for us physically, it’s also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Getting active can have a positive impact on depression and anxiety, it can relieve stress, improve memory, help you sleep better and make you feel more relaxed and positive about yourself and your life. The good news is, this isn’t dependent on hard exercise, even 10 minutes of moderate activity can make a difference.
Table tennis in particular is a fantastic pathway for getting active and lifting the spirits. It’s sociable and simply everyone, even those who have never played before, can pick up a bat and have an enjoyable experience. Not only that, it’s been proven that learning this new skill (or remembering a long forgotten one) can have a positive impact on those with memory loss problems and dementia.
Mindful Table Tennis in Bedford
Robert Lindsay, Sports Development Officer with Bedford Borough Council, has been running mental health table tennis sessions with tables provided through our Loop in the Community initiative. The video below was made at one of these sessions and tells the story of participants.
Robert told us:
Our sessions have a regular 10 participants and provide a great option alongside our yoga for those with mental health problems. We have one chap who had been attending for over 2 years now and loves it every week. We also have a range of ages and ethnic backgrounds. There are two gentleman who come with dementia and two young guys who have psychosis. The sport is ideal for focusing attention and I am so pleased with how the session are run.