Parent ResourcesWhat is Heavy Work? - North Valley Pediatric Therapy

Heavy work is any kind of activity that pushes or pulls against the body. Heavy work involves a sense known as proprioception. Proprioception also known as kinesthesia, is the sense of movement, action, and location regarding to the body’s positioning in space. When children engage in heavy work messages are sent from receptors in their joints to receptors in their brainstem that help them organize their sensory system.
Heavy work also helps children learn the amount of force needed to interact with their environment.

Why Heavy work?

Heavy work activities can support kids with sensory processing difficulties by helping them feel focused and organized. Heavy work is often seen as a great counterbalance in terms of sensory integration strategies. For children who are under-responsive, heavy work activities before academic and fine motor tasks can help increase their alertness and attention to task. While for children who are over-responsive, heavy work activities can help them to calm down and decrease stress and leads to improved attention.

Below is a list of heavy work activities to try with your child. Feel free to talk to your child’s therapist regarding additional heavy work activities your child may enjoy. Be sure to note their response.

  • Push, drag or move furniture
  • Push/pull laundry basket
  • Rip paper
  • Climb chair/couch
  • Animal walks
  • Play catch with large ball
  • Dig in dirt, garden or sand
  • Climb at playground
  • Carry a pile of books
  • Play tug of war
  • Do pushups
  • Squish and knead playdoh
  • Build a for
  • Wheelbarrow walk
  • Hang or swing on a something
  • Carry bean bags
  • Pull a wagon or sled
  • Push a shopping cart

 

 

Blog by:

Keely C. – COTA/L

Occupational Therapist Assistant

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Copyright by North Valley Pediatric Therapy. All rights reserved.

Copyright by North Valley Pediatric Therapy. All rights reserved.