If your child loves to sit with his or her legs in a W-shape, you might want to look at this informative video. As comfortable as the sitting position is, W-sitting can be bad for your children. Dr. Claudia Chaloner explains why.
For those of you who are not aware of what W sitting is, it’s when a child sits on their bottom with both knees bent and their legs turned out away from their body. If you were to look at the child from above their head, his or her legs would be in the shape of the letter “W.”
For many, this is a preferred or comfortable position, but as the good doctor explains, W sitting increases the risk of the child’s hip and leg muscles becoming short and tight. This can negatively affect their coordination, balance, and the development of gross motor skills later on in life. W sitting can even increase a child’s risk of hip dislocation.
IMAGE SOURCE: DAVIDWOLFE
The limitation of the upper body caused by sitting in the W position can impact writing skills and other table-top activities that are important in school. W sitting makes it difficult for the child to shift their weight from one side of their body to the other. This is especially important in standing balance and when developing the ability to run and jump. W sitting also does not allow the child to develop strong trunk muscles; instead, they are relying on the broad base of support of their legs and joint structures to keep them upright.
If your child likes to sit this way, suggest other comfortable ways for your child to sit, such as legs straight out or crossed in front of them.
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