The short answer is that badminton is very good for the brain.
A game of badminton stimulates what is known as our inhibitory function. That is a part of the executive function of the brain, which controls our impulses, helps delay pleasure, and assists in planning for the future. The same effect is true for playing table tennis, but not so much for running or walking.
In layman’s terms, researchers explain that badminton is good for the brain because the game involves constant decision-making. So apart from the obvious physical benefits, playing badminton also improves important functions of your brain.
Research proves cognitive performance improvement after a game of badminton
In this scientific article, you can learn the details of the “badminton brain” study conducted by Shinji Takahashi of Tohoku Gakuin University, Japan. The study is called “Comparison of the effects of running and badminton on executive function: A within-subjects design”. It specifically compares people who played a game of badminton versus people who ran on a treadmill.
The following is a quick summary of the research:
Regular exercise can prevent cognitive decline and dementia. Moreover, it is thought that exercise has a beneficial effect on the executive function, including the inhibitory function, working memory, and cognitive flexibility
The research by Mr. Takahashi and the team was done to clarify what kinds of exercises improve executive functions (also called cognitive control). In the past researchers have studied both quantitative characteristics (e.g., intensity, duration, and frequency) and qualitative characteristics (e.g., exercise mode and complexity).
Complex vs. simple exercises – a big difference for the brain
Several studies have shown that complex exercises, including open-skill sports (e.g., badminton, tennis, and fencing), have more positive effects on executive functions than simple exercises, such as closed-skill sports (e.g., running and swimming).
Voss et al. reported results from a meta-analysis indicating that athletes who are experts at complex exercises tend to exhibit superior executive function than simple sports athletes and non-athletes.
Complex exercises require the coordination of a variety of motions and cognitive processes, including information pick-up, decision-making, visual attention, and inhibition of inappropriate actions.
Brain power improved after just one game of badminton
What’s interesting about the study is that the test subjects who were “brain tested” before and after a game of badminton, improved their post-game brain test score significantly compared to their score before the game.
When comparing the participating badminton players to runners participating, both groups produced similar results pre-activity, but the brain test score for those playing badminton was significantly better.
Learn more about badminton science and its impact on your health, well-being, and mental power
Learning about the science of badminton is interesting to many people. That’s why Badminton Speak devotes time and resources to bringing you information related to badminton science. Especially as it relates to people’s well-being and mental strength.