While the UCR researchers found that the players who underwent training showed a 31 percent improvement in visual acuity (tested with a Snellen chart) compared to a control group. The more interesting thing though was that the researchers found that players who underwent training showed significant improvement in their baseball statistics (strikeouts, hits, runs created, etc.), while those in the control group and on other teams in the league did not. According to one of the study leads Professor Aaron Seitz, “Players reported seeing the ball better, greater peripheral vision and an ability to distinguish lower-contrast objects.”
Readers of The 15 MInute Fix: VISION know that while I advocate and see real benefits from physically exercising the eyes, I also believe that eye exercises work best if they are also taking advantage of the brain’s plasticity by training it to better interpret the information sent to it. Although programs that just focus on exercising ocular muscles have had some success, this study shows that if brain training is an integral part of an eye exercise program, results will be significantly better.
It has become commonplace in recent years for elite athletes in many sports to spend significant time and effort on vision improvement. This study supports that trend and also suggests that certain vision exercises provide real benefits for athletes at all ages and levels and for anyone who relies on vision to get through their day (which includes most of us). The 15 Minute Fix: VISION includes exercises that specifically focus on improving and developing new neural networks (brain training) and exercises with particular benefits for athletes. Athlete or not, I encourage you to give them a try.
Age well my friends….