Kids as Young as 5 Can Command a Computer
FRIDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Children as young as 5 can
learn how to manipulate a computer mouse, according to a study that
finds practice is more important than age in mastering the
Researchers tested the computer mouse skills of 221 children
aged 5 to 10 years. The largest increases in the children's
computer mouse accuracy and speed occurred between ages 6 and 7 and
ages 8 and 9. Performance appears to plateau between ages 9 and
While older children were faster and more accurate, younger
children had smoother mouse motions. This is likely because older
children are more willing to sacrifice fluidity for speed,
explained study author Alison Lane, an assistant professor of
occupational therapy at Ohio State University.
There were no significant differences between girls and boys in
terms of speed and accuracy, but girls were slightly more skilled
at smooth mouse control.
Overall, the findings suggest that children need to practice at
least once a week with a computer mouse to achieve the best gains
in terms of accuracy, speed and minimization of errors, Lane
"Since the frequency of computer mouse use is as important as age, it might be beneficial to introduce children to the computer at a young age so that they can slowly develop skills over years of practice," she said in a university news release.
The study was published in a recent issue of the journal
Computers & Education.
The Nemours Foundation warns parents that children can suffer
computer-related repetitive stress injuries.
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