The term “proprioception” refers to a person’s awareness of his or her own body position. Our proprioceptive system takes information from our muscles and joints and conveys it to the brain, which is then able to interpret the position of our body and limbs. In short, it allows you to know where your limbs are without having to look at them. Without proprioception, we would not be able to walk without constantly watching our feet.
Children who have difficulty processing proprioceptive input may lack body awareness, making them appear “clumsy”. They may also seek out proprioceptive input by crashing into walls, furniture, and people.
Activities that provide proprioceptive input require heavy work for the muscles and joints or a high impact. These include:
· Crashing into pillows
· Pedaling a bicycle (especially up a hill)
· Push-ups (on the wall or the floor)
· Moving heavy objects and furniture
· Crawling over uneven surfaces (e.g. large pillows)
· Climbing (over furniture, underneath cushions, up trees, on playground equipment, etc)
· Jumping off a swing
· Joint compressions
· Sports involving heavy muscle work (gymnastics, wrestling, etc)
· High impact sports (lacrosse, hockey, football, rugby, etc)