Motor Coordination

Last updated: May 30, 2020

What Does Motor Coordination Mean?

Motor coordination is a term used to describe the combined movements of more than one part of the body. A person's motor coordination is a measure of his or her ability to use the muscles, joints, nerves and other parts of the body together to perform a particular task. For example, to lift a cup the movement of the arm, shoulder, hands, and fingers must work in harmony.

When assessing an individual's physical abilities to perform task, motor coordination is one characteristics that is evaluated.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Motor Coordination

Motor coordination may be used to assess fine and gross motor skills. It is possible for a person to have varying degrees of motor control between fine and gross movements as well as between different body parts. For instance, an individual may be able to lift heavy objects in a coordinated manner, but struggle with handwriting.

Muscle tone, bilateral control, and postural control may all affect a person's motor coordination. A lack of motor coordination may be caused by physical disabilities, neurological impairments, or other causes. In some cases, motor coordination may be improved through physical therapy or other interventions.

Many different standards and checklists exist to assist occupational therapist and other professionals who assess motor coordination. Some of these guides include the Peabody Development Motor Scale, the Bruinink's Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills, and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales.


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