Hand-eye coordination is essential for aging well and staying independent
Board games are great for brain health
Think of an activity like catching a ball. “Our eyes pick up the information that a bullet is approaching, then our brain must quickly figure this out and send a plan of action to our hands, telling them what to do,” Liath explains.
Most of the activities we do every day – like preparing a meal, driving, or even brushing our teeth – rely on good hand-eye coordination.
“Our brains make connections and bonds that form a roadmap for accomplishing such tasks,” says Liath.
“But as we get older, these signals may slow down or become less strong, and we may find that we are not responding as quickly or as precisely as before.”
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to fine-tune hand-eye coordination. Here’s how to sharpen …
Sew it on
Do like Tom Daley and take out your knitting needles.
“Needlework is great hand-eye coordination power boosters,” says Liath. “They are particularly useful because they involve a high level of precision. Working with a needle and thread helps develop these very small muscles in the hand. Our eyes also have to work hard to focus on the finer details.”
It’s time to let these creative juices flow.
“Writing, calligraphy, drawing or painting are all great for strengthening our hand-eye coordination and working our brains and hands,” says Liath. “If you have restrictions in your hand due to something like arthritis, you can use pens or brushes with larger handles.”
Take out the board games
Not only are they fun, but board games are also great for brain health.
“Games like Connect 4 and puzzles involve what’s called motor planning,” says Liath. “This means that our brain has to make a plan of what it is going to do before it does it.
Playing these games keeps those brain signals high. “
At the bottom of the pub
“Pub games like billiards or darts involve the larger muscles of our arms and shoulders more,” Liath explains.
“The muscles in our hands and arms work like a pyramid. We need the bigger and stronger muscles to work well so that the smaller and weaker muscles can be supported to do what they need. need too. “
diy jewelry making
“The jewelry making process begins with design that uses visualization, an important part of hand-eye coordination,” says Eliza Bautista (elizabautista.com), an occupational therapist who also owns her own brand of jewelry.
“In the manufacturing phase, the eyes and hands have to work together in a synchronized fashion to produce a product. It also helps maintain fine motor dexterity, pinch grip, and visual perception.
The perfection of paper
“When you are origami or card making, hand-eye coordination is challenged even more by the need for sequencing, where you rely on the success of previous steps in a process to achieve the end result,” explains Eliza. “Watching and following a demo video, written instructions or diagrams while performing these kinds of tasks increases the need for the eyes and hands to work in synchronicity. “
Tom Daley was spotted knitting at the Olympics
A Taiwanese study found that older people who swim regularly showed faster and more precise hand-eye coordination than a control group of health subjects who did other regular exercise.
Swimming adds complexity to the hand-eye coordination process, as your arms and hands are often out of your line of sight when swimming.
“Swimming uses proprioception (awareness of the body’s position and movement in space) and visualization skills to perform the movement needed to propel yourself through water,” says Eliza.
Make a racket
Racquet sports require quick use of your central and peripheral vision to react to a fastball – and you often have to reach to hit it where you can’t actually see your hand and arm at work.
“With repetition, you strengthen the neuromuscular pathways that connect your eyes, brain, and muscles so that your reaction time is faster and your shots more precise,” says Eliza.