Have you recently picked up a pen to write a note and found that your handwriting has become less legible and you had to concentrate more to perform the task? With our technological advances scientists are finding that we are losing our tactile skills and the speed in which we are able to complete tasks. Our natural aging process impacts our ability to perform goal-directed aiming movements as we begin to slow down physically; noting that older adults generally make slower and shorter initial impulses towards the end target, and therefore require more time for corrections in the final movement stage. Recent studies however suggest that a physically active lifestyle which incorporates eye-hand coordination exercises may help reduce effects and could reverse the aging process of the brain. These exercises will be critically important for our younger generations who have adapted a stagnate virtual lifestyle.
The first time we begin to learn eye-hand coordination is when we are infants, with the largest amount of development happening when we are children. However, we can always improve our eye-hand coordination and it is extremely important to maintain it as we age. After all, it is essential in our daily life with things, such as driving or chopping food.
Following are a few activities that you can practice that will allow you to improve your eye-hand coordination:
Remember to have fun and to include the whole family!
- Play video games – Using either an online or interactive game console, play video games that require a sensitive touch and precise timing to improve accuracy skills.
- Color – Grab some markers or crayons and a coloring book and color away. Our hands are beginning to lose their fine motor coordination abilities now that more and more of us use a keyboard to write. Coloring will help to preserve those fine motor skills.
- Play a racquet sport – Any sport involving a racquet and ball will help to improve your eye-hand coordination, in addition to it being a great aerobic workout! You have to react quickly to your opponent’s moves and quickly judge where they will hit the ball.
- Take up juggling – Start juggling two balls from hand to hand, then gradually introduce a third (and even a fourth if you can manage it). It will improve both coordination and focus.
- Do a jigsaw puzzle – Useful for improving both eye-hand coordination and reasoning, a jigsaw puzzle is a fun way to hone these skills, particularly if it is a 3D puzzle.
- Play catch – A great activity that can help improve both your and your child’s hand-eye accuracy, a simple game of catch using a tennis ball or other type of small ball is a great way of sharpening your skills while spending time with your kids.
- Create something – Doing crafts such as model building and knitting can be creative ways of improving your eye-hand coordination, and you’ll have something to show for it to boot!
Make Sure You Maintain Your Eye-Hand Coordination!
As we age we can sometimes lose the eye-hand coordination that we have, leaving us vulnerable to accidents that otherwise would be avoided. If we try to maintain the eye-hand coordination that we have, we can ensure that we keep ourselves from getting in accidents and stay active and healthier longer. The more improvement we have with our eye-hand coordination, the better!
For Your Health,
Dr. Joseph Gambardella, Dr. Todd Brown and Dr. Benjamin Erb