Reaction Time Test

by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

A simple way to check your "reaction time" as you age

As we age, our reaction time is apt to diminish. Here's a simple way to check your reaction time:

From The 120 Year Diet by Dr. Roy Walford (Simon & Schuster)

All you'll need is an assistant and an 18–inch ruler. Have your assistant hold the ruler vertically at the top end (at the one inch end). Now, spread your thumb and middle finger 3 1/2 inches apart with the 18–inch mark on the ruler centered between your fingers. When your assistant drops the ruler, catch it as quickly as possible. Note at which mark you catch it. Do this three times, averaging your scores.

Generally, at 20 years of age, the ruler is caught at about the 11–inch mark. This decreases with age to the 6–inch mark at age 60. Using this simple test, you can really see if you still have the reaction time of a 20–year–old.

Keep in mind that a sound diet and adequate exercise—plus keeping yourself “mentally challenged” with a variety of activities—can make a big difference in mental capacity and agility.

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