Children suffering from motor awkwardness could stand to benefit if they practice movements crossing their body midline.
"I believe that if children don't acquire this particular skill by the age of 10, they may experience less success in certain physical activities, which may lead to an early withdrawal from participation in sports," says Dr Scott Pedersen, with the Faculty of Education in the University of Tasmania.
"There might be a chance to teach children how to incorporate midline crossing movements into their activities of daily living and that this might facilitate their overall brain processing.
It may lead to children being better suited to participate in developmentally appropriate physical activity and sport."
To investigate this theory, Dr Pedersen started Project CrossMove, at the Skill Acquisition Laboratory on the UTAS Launceston campus. The project explores the effect of movement training programs on the speed at which children are able to initiate midline crossing movements.
Some of the training programs used by Dr. Pedersen will incorporate popular gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, that simulate real exercise movements, such as simulating hitting or throwing a ball.
Parents are told that it is a study into the effects of laterality movement training on the speed of limb movements in children. The training will involve teaching the child make efficient movements using both their left and right arms.
Such a training will help children develop complex movements more quickly and efficiently.