Effects of Jet laG on MLB Baseball Players

January 23, 2017

A new study has found that jet lag seriously effects both “home” and “away” professional baseball players. Researchers studied more than 45,000 MLB games played from 1992 to 2011 and were careful to distinguish between jet lag effects and poor sport performance. The goal of the study was to figure out which areas of play were most negatively affected by jet lag, causing a lack in performance on the field.

Results of the study showed that “base running aggression” became significantly softened for jet-lagged players running their own home stadium bases. They stole less bases and registered fewer doubles.  Ravi Allada, one of the co-authors of the study states that jet lag may “erode decision-making, aggressiveness or some other trait involved in a batter’s determination to try to round an extra base.” However, jet-lagged players batting at an away stadium did not demonstrate the same problem in performance.

An effect of jet-lag that is shown to affect both “home” and “away” players is related to pitchers. Regardless of location, if the pitcher is suffering from multiple time-zone shifts, the pitcher is much more likely to give up more home runs than a pitcher who stays put. This finding has demonstrated that pitching is the most affected position or state of play that is negatively impacted by long distance travel and the exhausting impacts of jet lag.

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