‘W’ sitting can contribute to some developmental problems if it is not discouraged from a young age.
I have noticed quite a few children in our Tiny Tadpoles and Curious Koalas rooms sitting in a position known as ‘w’ sitting recently.
What is ‘w’ sitting?
It is a position that some children and even some adults choose to sit in. Imagine sitting with your bottom on the floor but with your knees bent back with legs rotated away from your body. When observing this position from above it looks like a w shape. (See image)
Why should this sitting position be discouraged?
‘W’ sitting can cause many problems if the habit continues over time such as:
- Stability problems in the trunk and hips.
- Orthopaedic problems with hips, knees and feet.
- Hamstring, hip and heel tightness which could result in pigeon toed walking.
- Problems relating to hand dominance and motor skills due to a decrease in the rotation of the trunk when sitting in this position.
How can the habit be changed?
- Encourage your child to sit in more appropriate ways such as:
o Cross legged.
o Side sitting with both legs to one side, just make sure the side is alternated regularly.
o Sitting with legs straight out in front. (This position is most suitable for young children)
o Using a low stool or cushion.
- Using language to remind your child to change the way they are sitting.
o “Feet to the front.”
o “Turn your legs around.”
These are a few simple phrases you can use at home and ones that we use at Mother Goose.
What should you do if your child can only ‘w’ sit?
If your child has trouble sitting in other positions please speak to us and seek the advice of your GP or physical therapist.
Remember: Consistency is important to change any habit!