Body awareness is the relationship between a person's body and the environment around it. Body awareness occurs when information about body position moves from the unconscious portion of the brain into the conscious portion of the brain through deliberate thought. Without body awareness, movements are clumsy and lack fluid motor movement, and exposure to the changing movement experiences increases body awareness. Children learn proper movement techniques through body awareness.
Body awareness involves processing the information from each of the senses. Balance, touch and proprioceptive skills increase body awareness. The vestibular, or sensory system, involves the inner ear and central nervous system and dictates balance and coordination. Through the various tactile messages, people relate touch to position. The proprioceptive system involves the unconscious information from joints and muscles. All of these things working together lead to body awareness.
Inadequate body awareness delays motor skills and slows learning. Stiff movements, stumbling, falling and applying inappropriate force during movements are signs of poor body awareness. Fine motor skills also involve body awareness and require the coordination of the body systems in more precise movements. Writing, buttoning and using utensils are examples of fine motor body awareness skills. Active play and exercise increase body awareness. Advanced training further increases body awareness and facilitates more complex athletic ability or coordination.