Pool, or billiards, has been around for over 100 years. Pool tables have become an iconic part of millions of working men and families across the world. Pool tables are often found in pubs and bars of workingmen’s clubs, social clubs, and youth clubs. The social aspect of pool has played a significant part in the lives of millions — people would finish work, go to the pub and then have a pint and a game of pool.
This is evident in British culture as many clubs still have pool and snooker tables from decades ago. Pool goes far beyond being a fun and addictive game though; it has several health benefits, which we will cover in this article.
Pool Improves Life Skills
We can define life skills as “necessary skills needed in day to day life.” Life skills are team work, hand eye co-ordination, strategizing, planning, being competitive, and so forth. Pool covers all of these, especially in kids.
Playing pool requires planning, decision making, hand eye coordination, teamwork (if playing doubles,) and an urge to want to win/becoming competitive. Playing pool with friends from a young age can also improve mathematical ability, as hitting pool balls and planning requires the mind to calculate distances, power, speed, and adding or subtracting.
These subconscious thoughts whilst playing pool have been proven in studies to aid in these essential life skills. You can read the study here.
Pool Strengthens Friendships and Family Bonds
It’s no secret that pool is a great game to play amongst friends in a social environment. I’m sure you’ve all played a few games of pool with friends and/or family. A recent study done at the University of Copenhagen shows that playing pool and having a pint can slow down ageing in the elderly and improve many cognitive functions.
This study, which can be found here, strongly suggests that the social and mental stimulus provided by playing pool is an extremely strong and positive experience.
Pool is Playable for All Ages
Playing pool is easy for anyone of any age. It’s one of the rare sports that allows an elder to play with their grandkids and have fun at the same time. The combined health and social benefits of playing makes pool one of the top games to play amongst the family
Pool Improves Reaction Speeds
Pool players also stand a better chance of survival in scenarios that bring reaction speed into play. In a scenario like driving, the ability to stay calm under pressure and hand eye co-ordination would greatly benefit you.
Investing in a pool table is a long term investment. You can get a high quality pool table for under £1000 [about $1500], or a pool dining table for under that price too. A pool dining table will double up as a great looking diner, thus saving you space in your home.
Playing pool on a regular basis or over family events can be a great way to engage all family members and have fun. In our world today, video gaming and smartphones have taken over — nobody interacts like they used to. It is up to the parents of the family to make the decision to involve family in social events that don’t require video gaming or phones.
Having fun is the best distraction from an ever growing problem of being glued to our TV screens, phones, and computers. The next time you think about setting up a family event, going for a social drink with friends, or want to invest into something for your games room, take a look at investing into a pool table.
It may be the best decision you ever make.
Photo: flickr/Vox Efx Editor: Hannah Blue