We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Coordination?

By Amy Hunter
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Coordination is the process where the body’s neurons and limbs work together to produce movement. This is a highly complicated process that most people do effortlessly. For most people, the act of tying a shoe or standing up is done with no conscious thought at all.

While coordination is used to describe the highly complex way that humans move, most people mean something different when they talk about it. The term is traditionally used to describe balance and reaction time. It also refers to a person’s ability to remain on his or her feet or move with little effort.

This type of movement is important for anyone interested in athletic pursuits, whether they are a professional athlete or a weekend warrior. It is the skill that allows a baseball player to hit a fast ball, a basketball player to block a shot, or a swimmer to shave off time when executing a perfect flip turn. Recreational golfers and tennis players with high levels of coordination can pick up and retain skills more easily than their less coordinated counterparts.

While everyone is born with their own, individual level, it is possible for people to increase their skills. Certain exercises will not only improve their ability in sports, but they will also reduce risks associated with aging, such as stumbling and falling. Devoting some time each day to these exercises can provide a tremendous benefit both on the athletic field and in life.

Games that require a tremendous amount of hand-eye development are great for increasing coordination. Table tennis and racquetball are both games that require high levels of these skills. There are also computer games that provide commands on the screen that the player must respond and react to, and these are also beneficial. In fact, researchers have found that many types of video games improve hand and eye response.

Physical activities, such as hiking on uneven trails, are a good way for people to make themselves more coordinated. When a person walks on level pavement all the time, his body gets used to the lack of resistance. On bumpy or uneven trails, the body must react to the changes in elevation and compensate. This type of activity is vital for improving balance and reaction.

Coordination is a skill, and like any skill, it can be improved. Investing some time in exercises will allow individuals to reap big rewards. People who don’t feel the need to improve for athletic reasons should consider the age-defying benefits.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By seag47 — On Jul 28, 2011

For me, roller skating was the best exercise in coordination I could ever have done. I started out really rough and shaky, but within a few hours, my skills were beginning to surface.

The process of learning exactly when and how to pick up or move your feet on wheels while balancing yourself with your upper body and arm movements really trains your muscles to work with your brain. Since the consequence of not doing it right is falling and getting hurt, your mind realizes that your safety is at stake, and it jumps into high gear.

In just a few sessions of skating with friends, I became good enough to not use the railings for support anymore. Eventually, I learned to squat and skate, and I even learned to skate backward. My coordination level improved with each new trick.

By StarJo — On Jul 28, 2011

@lighth0se33 - I know that Nintendo helped me develop coordination as well! I liked playing a two-player on Dr. Mario with my dad to add to the challenge. With competition, I think my skills developed even more.

I also played Super Mario Brothers 1, 2, and 3, and I believe these games were great tools as well. Having to determine the exact correct moment to jump on a mushroom, and having to learn precisely how long to hold a certain button to jump over a chasm or fly through the air was at first a challenge. Once grasped, it became a skill as instinctive as riding a bike.

By lighth0se33 — On Jul 27, 2011

I credit the original Nintendo system with my great coordination skills. Two games that I played frequently as a youngster helped me develop good reflexes and placement skills.

The first is Tetris. I had to place segments of blocks together in such a way as to melt entire horizontal lines of blocks before they built up on the screen and blocked the entrance. As the game progresses, the segments fall faster, and you have to react more quickly.

The second is Dr. Mario. Operating by the same concept as Tetris, you have to melt rows of colored germs by placing the same color pills on top of them. The higher the level, the faster the pills fall into the jar of germs, and the shorter your time frame for reacting correctly.

By cloudel — On Jul 26, 2011

When I was a child in elementary school, we were forced to take physical education classes, otherwise known as gym. I didn’t like it because some of the exercises required more flexible limbs than I had, but there was one exercise involving coordination that I excelled at.

We had to lift up one knee and stand on one leg while holding one arm extended horizontally. That was the starting position. At the command of the coach, we had to move those arms and legs to different positions without losing our balance. I was always one of the last ones left standing.

By w00dchuck41 — On Jul 26, 2011

@Calvin77 - Laser hockey is definitely a good choice for improving hand-eye co-ordination -- pretty much any hands-on sort of game is.

For little kids, I know that building with blocks, coloring and the piano are all good for building co-ordination. It might seem simple but if they play a lot -- and most kids do -- they will build their co-ordination skills quickly.

Dancing is also a great coordination building game for kids. Just turn on their favorite songs and teach them how to boogie. Better yet, use a TV show that they like. Kids like to do what their favorite show character is doing and it gives them a exact example to imitate without you having to keep up.

By Calvin77 — On Jul 25, 2011

@manykitties2 - Yes, it's nice to see video games that require a little more than slumping on a couch. Between the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's Kinect -- kids that play video games have better hand-eye co-ordination than they've had in decades. Coordination exercises like yoga are a little dull for the new short-attention generations. Video games can at least keep their attention longer.

I play badminton myself. Having to move your whole body toward the birdy takes a lot of coordination and actually hitting the birdy fast enough takes more. I also play a lot of laser hockey at the arcade with my kids – which requires an immense amount of hand and eye coordination.

By manykitties2 — On Jul 25, 2011

Since video games have actually been proven to help improve your hand to eye coordination, I wonder if the new motion sensor controllers and cam controlled games are doing even more?

I recently saw a video game controller that could read your movements through a camera mounted on top of your television. To be this seemed like an amazing way to improve your coordination. Having to touch and hit things on screen at a quick pace must do wonders for not only your flexibility, but your overall health. I really think that as video games encourage more activity we'll get a better handle on the weight issues our country is facing.

By Sara007 — On Jul 25, 2011

Improving your children's coordination is a good idea and you can get started even when they are quite young. Putting your kids in sports that require a lot of coordination and muscle control is a great idea. It not only keeps your kids healthy and fit but also helps improve their overall abilities.

For my kids I chose martial arts because the sport focused not only on muscle control through complex katas, but it also helped them learn self-defense and self-control. I think these are invaluable skills for young people to have. Plus I found it boosted my kids confidence levels way up. They are much outgoing now that they go to the dojo on a regular basis.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.