The Impact On Reaction Time



Here is a definition of “REACTION TIME”:  the time elapsing between the beginning of the application of a stimulus and the beginning of an organism’s reaction to it

On a daily basis our reaction time is tested when we drive our automobiles.  There are many “stimuli” that occur on the roads, such as those people around us driving recklessly fast and/or those drivers around us texting as they are driving.  If a sudden swerve into our lane occurs, we must react very quickly to avoid a potentially life-threatening accident.  One of the major reasons we are very concerned about our elderly relatives still driving their own cars is the slower reaction time they tend to exhibit.

Reaction time does not only impact driving but there are many other areas of our lives when reaction time can make a very big difference between a catastrophic event or a near-miss.  For example, if a person starts slipping and the reaction time is quick enough, he/she can grab on to something quickly to avoid the fall.  The person with the slower reaction time may fall instead and the ramifications of the fall may include life-changing joint fractures.

Studies have showed that obese people have slower reaction times than normal weight individuals.  Many of these studies have actually shown this in obese children as well.  Interestingly, the slower reaction times were not simply based in motor skills but also sensory reaction times were slower in obese people as well.

There are many, many reasons why controlling weight is so important.  Having a quicker reaction time is one of these reasons.  

Now, I want to do a “reaction time” test on you:  One of the 200 worst songs EVER is “Feelings” by Morse Albert (whatever happened to him??).  Let’s see what your reaction time is in listening to the song and hitting the “delete this text” button.

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