Find Your Place: The Hand-Eye Coordination Challenge
Check how well your eyes and hands work together with this fun drill.
How quickly and accurately can you move your hands based on what you see on a chart? In this video, SilverSneakers fitness expert David Jack explains how this quick test can give you clues about your visual reaction time and hand-eye coordination. It’s also a fun brain game that helps you feel more alert.
You’ll need a large surface to draw on, like a dry erase board or large piece of paper, and a way to keep time. If you’d like to take the test seated, you’ll also need a sturdy chair.
Try the test now, then see what your results mean below. If you have a condition or an injury that affects your hand-eye coordination, skip the test, but check out the tips below.
If You Were Able to Complete the Test with Only Minor Difficulties
That’s a sign your visual reaction time and hand-eye coordination are in good health. Both are important factors in how we take in and respond to information from the world around us, whether it’s avoiding a collision with a car that’s cutting us off, tracking a tennis ball as it comes over the net, or reading music and then playing those notes on the piano.
Try this: Take the test again every week for the next four to six weeks. Over time, see if you can get through the test more quickly—and without mistakes.
Another fun way to improve hand-eye coordination: using fitness balls. They’re a staple in many SilverSneakers classes, plus you can do a variety of fitness ball exercises on your own.
If You Experienced Major Difficulties During the Test
That’s a sign something is affecting your visual reaction time and hand-eye coordination. There are many potential reasons this could happen, including:
- You’re not able to see as well because of new or previously unnoticed vision problems
- You’re not able think clearly due to medication side effects or cognitive changes
- You’ve lost some sensation in your hands—or have pain in your arm, wrist, or hands
Your next step, especially if you’ve noticed changes in your reaction time or coordination during your usual activities: Talk to your doctor. He or she can determine the cause and the right treatment.
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If You Have a Condition or an Injury That Affects Your Hand-Eye Coordination
Worried that you’ll hurt yourself if you exercise? That’s a very common fear. Luckily, physical activity is safe for almost everyone, according to the latest fitness guidelines. The key is working with your doctor to find the right plan for you.
Start by talking to your doctor about your current health and any medications you take. Ask these three questions:
- What types of exercise are appropriate for me?
- How often and how much should I do them?
- Are there precautions or steps I should take?
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