What are the effects of Slow Reaction Time and how to improve it?

Have you ever analyzed your reaction time? If you think you have slow reaction time then read further to find out how it affects you and how to improve it?


Reaction time is the amount of time which one takes to react to certain stimuli. You will have to perceive information from the surrounding and then react to it. It requires three steps including receiving information through sensation, processing the information and then reacting to it. It seems like a long process, but all these three processes occur within a matter of milliseconds. However, there are still individual differences exist among people when it comes to the reaction time. If it occurs quickly the reaction time is quick for the person, and if the person takes more time to react to the stimuli then it has the slow reaction time.

Effects of Slow Reaction Time

Reaction time affects our lives in more ways than we can imagine. From a sports event to a job interview, everywhere you require reacting fast, or you will lose. Moreover, the slow reaction time is associated with unhealthy life and eventually an early death. A few of the important ways in which it can affect human’s life is given below:

Biological Reactions

Our whole life is one big biological reaction. Biological reactions define your life scenarios and how you react to it. Our sensations and perceptions are all because certain neurons acted in a certain way. Biological reactions occur at an optimal speed, and too fast or too slow biological reactions can be dangerous to life processes. Specifically, slow biological reactions can cause serious side effects as well as health issues. For example, the reaction time of a medicine:



All of the reflexes in the human body are the result of reaction from the spinal cord, and if the spinal cord reacts a little slower, we might get our self into a lot of trouble. We pull our hand back after touching a hot pot because or spinal cord asks us to. Just imagine, if our spinal cord fails to act at the time, we might get our hand burnt. It is necessary for our spinal cord to have a quicker reaction time because a slow reaction time of reflex arc can get us in serious trouble. This is not the only example of the benefit of quick reaction time. If you fall, you quickly reach out for something to grab to help you not to fall or in many cases you would also try to put your hand to the ground so you can save yourself from the fall. In a matter of milliseconds, our brain notices the problem and tries to save us from the problem as soon as possible. This is another example through which a quick reaction time can save the day.


It is a known fact that any kind of sports or games requires you to act as fast as possible. If you are a slow sportsman, then you are not a good sportsman. It is not only necessary for you to play good but it is also necessary for you to save yourself from injuries during the game. For example, if you are playing soccer, you need to be quick to save yourself from the football coming towards you. Remember Quidditch in Harry Potter, well that is not much difference between a real-life football except that you don’t have to fly on your broomsticks to play soccer. The resemblance between these two games was the fact that you could literally die if you are not fast enough to save yourself from the football. Hence, the quicker reaction time is also important even if you are playing just for the sake of entertainment or enjoyment.

How to Improve Reaction Time for reflexes?

Reaction time improvement helps you in many domains; you can perform a lot better in tests, sports and even driving if you improve your reaction time. You just have to have the willpower of improving your slow reaction time, and then you can do anything you want to do. You can also take help of professionals, but there are a few things which can help you even if you are trying to improve your reaction time at home:

1. Caffeine

We have already established that reaction time is slower or quicker due to the neural pathways in our brain. Caffeine is also known to alert the brain, and that’s why coffee can help you stay alert and react quicker.

2. Spinach

According to a study, spinach has a great amount of tyrosine in it which helps you reflexes to tune up, and you can get a reduced reaction time if you consume spinach in the daily diet.

3. Video Games

Video games are a proven source of improvement in your reaction time because it gives you a simulated environment to make decisions as well as mistakes. Now you play Call of Duty as long as you want because it is eventually helpful for reduced reaction time.

How to Improve Physical Reaction Time?

Physical reaction time can be improved by playing sports, but there are still a few people who have difficulty in improving reaction time. Those people can use these drills to reduce reaction time.

1. Chute Run

Arrange five cones in a distance of three to five yards apart in a chute pattern. Try to cross the cones using a crossover and sprinting the first cone. Accelerate with perfect posture and decelerate while dropping your hips back and down.

2. Mirror Drill

Arrange two cones with 10 to 15 yards of distance, ask one partner to walk randomly in the cones and mimic his movements.

3. Cone Agility Drill

Use four cones with 3 to yards apart forming a square. Now ask your partner to randomly point at a cone, and you try to move as fast as possible to that cone.


Slow reaction time is associated with many diseases and disorders like ADHD and it can be the result of other diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even Multiple Sclerosis. However, if you are a healthy individual and still feel like you have a slow reaction time then that is something to worry about.

Improved reaction time is better for both health and survival and you can rehabilitate your reaction time with a little effort and help. These drills are going to improve your reaction time. However, you still need to keep practicing if you want to have an actually reduced reaction time.

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