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Can electronic games improve children’s coordination?

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Curtin University is looking for children aged between 10 and 12 years to volunteer for a nine-month research study investigating the latest ‘active’ electronic games and their effect on children’s coordination.

Researchers hope to learn whether games technology can help children who suffer from Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).

DCD is diagnosed when children do not develop normal coordination of voluntary muscular movement. Children with DCD are often seen as ‘clumsy’ and have difficulty performing tasks such as throwing or catching balls, balancing and jumping.

Life can be tough for these kids as they often miss out on social interaction and physical activity. This can lead to low self esteem and obesity-related disorders. Kids with DCD often avoid socialising preferring the privacy of their computer games.

It is hoped that the balance and leg movements needed with the new ‘active’ electronic games, such as Xbox 360 Kinect and PlayStation 3, might give them the practise they need to improve their coordination skills.

Professor Leon Straker from Curtin’s School of Physiotherapy, who is leading the study, said no one has investigated to find out if computer games can help children with DCD.

“Nearly all kids play electronic games regularly,” Professor Straker said.

“We know there are some risks to children’s health from playing them, but perhaps we can use electronic games technology to help kids improve their coordination.”

The coordination study will be undertaken by researchers at Curtin and the University of Queensland, and is planned to start in late March 2011.

Children will receive a $50 gift voucher if they complete the nine-month study.

If you have a child who has difficulty with tasks like kicking a ball, handwriting, or playing sports, and is aged between 10 and 12 years, please contact Deborah Metcalf on 9266 9456 or via email


Denise Cahill, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 1931, Mobile: 0401 103 683, Email:


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