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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2013 Oct;23(5):e263-9. doi: 10.1111/sms.12073. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Benefits of early development of eye-hand coordination: evidence from the LOOK longitudinal study.

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Medical School, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia; Academic Unit of Internal Medicine, Canberra Hospital, Canberra, ACT, Australia.


We investigated longitudinal and cross-sectional relationships between eye-hand coordination (EHC) and cardiorespiratory fitness (multistage run), physical activity (pedometers), percent body fat (%BF, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry), body image, and organized sport participation (questionnaires) in 406 boys and 384 girls at 8 and 10 years of age. EHC was measured by a throw and wall-rebound catch test involving 40 attempts of increasing difficulty. Median EHC improved during two years from 18 to 32 (boys) and 9 to 24 (girls), and gender differences and improvements were both significant (P < 0.001). Cross-sectional analyses showed that boys and girls with better EHC were fitter (P < 0.001), and a longitudinal relationship showed that girls who improved their EHC over the two years became fitter (P < 0.001). There was also evidence that children with better EHC possessed a more positive body image (P = 0.05 for combined sex data), but there was no evidence of any relationships between EHC and %BF or PA (both P > 0.3). Finally, even at age 8 years, boys and girls participating in organized sport possessed better EHC than non-participants. These data provide evidence for the premise that early acquisition of this single motor skill promotes the development of a child's fitness, body image, and participation in sport.


body image; children; motor skill; percent body fat; physical activity; sport

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