The relationship between a child’s postural stability and manual dexterity

Yorkshire & HumberMusculoskeletal, Neurological
Start Date: 1 Apr 2012

Project summary

The neural systems responsible for postural control are separate from the neural substrates that underpin control of the hand. Nonetheless, postural control and eye-hand coordination are linked functionally. For example, a stable platform is required for precise manual control tasks (e.g. handwriting) and thus such skills often cannot develop until the child is able to sit or stand upright. This raises the question of the strength of the empirical relationship between measures of postural stability and manual motor control. 

We recorded objective computerised measures of postural stability in stance and manual control in sitting in a sample of school children (n = 278) aged 3–11 years in order to explore the extent to which measures of manual skill could be predicted by measures of postural stability. A strong correlation was found across the whole sample between separate measures of postural stability and manual control taken on different days.

Professor Mark Mon-Williams