By physiotherapist Sigrid Mitchell
When balancing, speed is often beneficial. The faster we move, the stronger our vestibulary sense is stimulated. This explains why it is often easier to balance when cycling fast as opposed to cycling very slowly, where we find that rider and bicycle are more likely to wobble.
When we ask the child to walk slowly (in slow motion) on hilltops, the exercise trains reactive balance more effectively than when the child skips rapidly from one hilltop to the next.
In other words, a child who has impaired reactive balance finds it easier to run quickly through the hilltop trail than slowly. It is more challenging for a child – even one with good reactive balance – to walk very slowly through the trail.