Visual function, performance, and processing of basketball players vs. sedentary individuals
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AuthorVera Vílchez, Jesús; Jiménez Rodríguez, Raimundo; Cárdenas Vélez, David; Redondo Cabrera, Beatriz; García García, José Antonio
ExerciseFitness levelHealthHeart rate variabilityVisual skillsTeam sports
Vera, J., Jiménez, R., Cárdenas, D., Redondo, B., & García, J. A. (2017). Visual function, performance, and processing of basketball players versus sedentary individuals. Journal of Sport and Health Science. [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2017.05.001]
SponsorshipSpanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness DEP2013-48211-R
Background Athletes tend to have better visuo-motor performance than do sedentary individuals. However, several basic visual-function and perceptual parameters remain unexplored to date. In this study, we investigated whether differences exist in visual function, performance, and processing between basketball players and individuals without a sport-involvement background. Methods A total of 33 healthy men with no visual impairment or pathology were divided into 2 groups, depending on the involvement in sport (semi-professional basketball players and sedentary individuals). We tested their baseline heart-rate variability in the resting position apart from subjective questionnaires to determine their physical fitness level, and we checked their visual function, performance, and processing through an extended battery of optometric tests. Results The 2 groups differed in resting heart-rate variability parameters (p < 0.001), confirming their dissimilarities in regular time practising sports per week. The basketball players showed a closer breakpoint and recovery nearpoint of convergence, a higher fusional-vergence rate, better discriminability halos, and better eye–hand coordination (all p values < 0.05). Conclusion These results show evidence that athletes, basketball players in this case, exhibit better performance in several visual abilities in comparison to a group of individuals without sporting backgrounds, suggesting an improvement due to the systematic involvement of those skills during basketball practice.