Keeping Motor Skills Sharp with Mobile Technology

Maintain, even improve, dexterity with smartphones and tablets.

By on January 16, 2014

Recent research by the University of Texas at Arlington indicates fine motor skill decline starts for most people as they reach their mid-60s, affecting their dexterity and ability to perform manual tasks. According to a Rush University Medical Center study, however, remaining socially active can help keep older adult’s motor skills sharp as they age.

For people looking to maintain and even improve dexterity, tablets and smartphones can be effective tools to increase hand strength and mobility and keep up those important social connections.  

When face-to-face interactions are not possible, for example, mobile technology can be a direct line to family and friends via video chat services like Skype, social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, and even traditional email.

Additionally, there are a multitude of apps and games designed to help keep smartphone and tablet users’ minds and fingers agile. Dexteria is an app focused on fine motor skill development that produces reports detailing a user’s progression over time. Fruit Ninja, a mobile game where the player swipes his or her finger across the screen to slash fruit as a ninja warrior, helps develop hand/eye coordination, as do Amazing Fingers and Finger Maze.

For assistance when performing manual tasks on their wireless devices, users can also employ accessories and services such as Bluetooth headsets for hands-free calling, voice commands for dialing or launching programs, and task automation for creating preset actions that reduce the need to manipulate settings on devices.

Improving manual dexterity and fine motor skills takes practice, and with the help of mobile devices users can help diminish the loss of these skills to keep them at the top of their games.