Have you ever observed your kid sitting in the ‘W’ position while he/she is watching television or playing with their favorite toys? This is the W-Sitting position in which the kid sits on his/her bottom with both knees bent & legs turned out away from their body.
If you have noticed your child sitting in the position, you ought to be worried as it might cause them a lifetime of pain. Even though, this posture being their preferred position, they must be encouraged into other ways of sitting.
Again, W-sitting is not suggested for anyone. Many growing children do use this position during play; however every parent should stay conscious as if excessive use of this position by their kid during the growing years can lead him/her to future orthopedic troubles.
To begin with – what actually is W-sitting?
As stated earlier in the topic, W-Sitting is a position in which children sit on their bottom with their knees bent, feet tucked under and their legs stretched out to the side. This is a regular sitting position since children feel safe and balanced in the position.
Though, parents aren’t aware with the dangers with the sitting posture when they let their children sit in the position for too long. If you try to look at your child from above their head, his/her legs will be creating the shape of the letter “W.”
Why do some children prefer sitting like this?
You must understand that numerous of children, prefer this position for sitting and finds it comfortable. They sit in that position without even thinking about it. In most cases, kids who sit in this position are doing so in order to compensate for weaknesses they may have in their hips and body. In this position, they find themselves in a stable form and sense comfort while playing with toys in an upright sitting position without worrying about falling over.
It is frequent and usual for kids to get in & out of this position while playing on the floor. Actual problem arises when the kid sits in that manner for an extensive time period. As a parent, it is important for you to recognize the condition and keep an eye on your child.
Try to correct them for the following reasons:
- The position restricts the core strength since it gives the kids a wider base of support. Since they don’t have to use their abdominal or back muscles in this posture, kids prefer it to be trickier, tiring like with legs in front, sideways or criss-crossed.
- W-sitting causes muscle tightness, mainly in the legs & hips but as well in knees and ankles.
- When the kid sits in the W position, he/she fails to turn around their upper body. Then again, the kid finds it difficult to reach across the body and do tasks that involve both hands. It can certainly affect their capability to perform writing skills & other significant activities that are essential during their school time, later in their life.
- W Sitting obstructs the development of a hand liking. The child is compelled to use objects on the right side of the body using the right hand and those on the left side of the body with the left hand. This might lead to coordination difficulties later on in their life.
- W sitting makes it tricky for the child to transfer their weight from one side of their body to the other. The capability to shift weight from one side of the body to the other is particularly important in standing stable and when developing the capability to run and jump.
- W sitting doesn’t allow your child to develop strong trunk muscles. In this posture, the child’s trunk muscles do not have to work as hard to keep them straight, instead they rely on the wide base of support of their legs and joint structures to keep them vertical.
What are the harmful outcomes with W-Sitting?
The harmful effects of “W-Sitting” are:
- The extensive use of this posture can lead the kid to Orthopedic Problems in future.
- It can as well delay the development of postural control and stability.
- It can delay the development of refined motor skills.
These are the crucial reasons why you should check your kid sitting in this position. Moreover this posture is strongly discouraged. Definitely, you want your children to grow tough and healthy. Believe me; this type of sitting posture prevents that. As well, it puts needless tension on the body.
Exclusive “W-Sitting” Puts excessive pressure On:
- The Hip Abductors
- Internal Rotators
- Heel Cords
Dislocation is easy & frequent with children who usually sit in this position. As well, sitting in this position leads to shortened or tightened muscles. This can have an effect on the development of motor skills, stability and coordination.
What can be done to prevent W-Sitting?
If you spot your child using the W Sitting posture when playing, you should take some necessary steps. Don’t just forbid them to sit in the position only. Instead, it would be good idea for you to suggest him/her with certain other ways to sit:
- Long sitting
- Side sitting
- Criss-Cross or Tailor sitting
- Sitting on a small bench
These different positions will allow your child to employ their both hands at the very time on the both sides of the body. Additionally, these sitting positions can help them shift their weight from side to side conveniently. You should encourage your child to use their back and abdominal muscles to retain the vertical sitting position.
For sure, your child may experience trouble with the correction when you forbade them to sit in the position. Though, it is significant that you consistently make this correction when you see your child sitting in this manner, as it can affect their growth and development.
Feel free to consult your child’s therapist. Ask him/her about any question you may have about your child’s W sitting issue.