Did you know we begin to develop hand-to-eye coordination from the moment we’re born? By the time a baby is around 9 months old, it can point, roll balls, pick up an object and recognise shapes. This is the beginning of hand-to-eye coordination and it’s why playing is so important for babies and children.

What is hand-to-eye coordination?

Hand-to-eye coordination works when your brain receives visual information through your eyes and then it directs your hand to make the right movement. For example, you see someone throwing a ball towards you and you reach out to catch it.

Why is hand-to-eye coordination important?

It is important because it affects your ability to perform tasks correctly. For example, we need hand-to-eye coordination to clean our teeth, use a keyboard, play sports, drive a car, ride a bike, write with a pen, or pencil and play a musical instrument. 

What are the other advantages of good hand-to-eye coordination?

Hand-to-eye coordination works with our fine and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills help us to eat, use a pencil, read, and get dressed in the morning. Gross motor skills enable us to walk, climb, jump, and stand.

If your hand-to-eye coordination is good, your motor skills should be well developed so that you don’t have difficulty communicating or taking part in physical activity.

What happens to hand-to-eye coordination as you age?

As we age the speed of communication between your eyes and your hands begins to slow down.  This means that you aren’t as accurate, and you don’t react as quickly as you did when you were younger.

Have you ever waited immediately at a super checkout while an older person tried to sort out their money? They need more time because very often they can’t see very well, but also because their hand-to-eye coordination has slowed, and they just can’t do things quickly anymore.

Can hand-to-eye coordination be improved as we age?

Yes. One way is to keep active. It doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon, but you should keep up with a gentle exercise routine. It’s ideal to do something like pilates. You can also keep your brain sharp by reading, playing a board game or taking up knitting or drawing.

These activities all help to improve your hand-to-eye coordination.

How does Pilates help hand-to-eye coordination?

Pilates exercises are focused on controlling your movements by engaging your muscles. It means you gain core strength which is essential for your coordination and balance. 

A typical exercise to test your hand-to-eye coordination and reaction times is to use a tennis ball thrown in different ways to improve your skills.

Ball games are a great way to build up your hand-to-eye coordination and along with the benefits of pilates exercises your posture, balance and hand-to-eye coordination will improve whatever your age.

If you would like to come along to one of my Pilates classes, get in touch. Contact us through the website or email contact@simonparkerpilates.com