Dynamic control of balance in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Children with motor coordination problems (or DCD) frequently experience balance problems. Our study investigated the dynamic balance control needed when playing a computer game in which children control the game by adequately shifting weight. We studied children with motor coordination problems and typically developing children to investigate i) which aspects of dynamic balance control differ, ii) whether learning to play the computer game successfully differs and iii) whether improvements in dynamic balance control and game scores lead to transfer to other balance skills like running, jumping or stair climbing.
Initial dynamic balance control in the game appeared less accurate in children with motor coordination problems compared to their peers. They shifted their weight less and more erratic in their attempts to score. The difference in performance between children was also found in our study in South Africa, which confirmed that the motor coordination problem is independent of culture or previous gaming experience. Importantly, children with coordination problems learned as fast as their peers, albeit on a different level. Besides, retention of the level of control of the game after a period of no practice was present and after training the improvements in performance on game scores translated into improved balance skills of daily life, both in the Dutch and the South African children.
A training protocol consisting of an active computer game with elements of feedback, anticipation and reaction has a positive effect in balance skills of children with motor coordination problems.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Smits-Engelsman, B.C.M., Supervisor, External person
  • Tucha, Oliver, Supervisor
  • Geuze, Reint H., Co-supervisor
Award date28-Sept-2017
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-9964-5
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9963-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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