W-Sitting: What’s The Big Deal?
You’ve seen it. You know that it’s discouraged. It looks painful… but our kids still sit like that. Why do children sit this way and why should we discourage it? HOW?
The W-sit position is actually a very comfortable for children to sit in- it looks uncomfortable to us adults because they have more laxity in their joints and flexibility in their muscles. Kids sit in this position for the following reasons:
-Hip and Trunk weakness (weak core!)
-Increased Stability (not falling over in sitting)
-Widened Base of Support
-They are used to it… (creatures of habit)
It is actually OK for kids to sit in this position…sometimes. Problems arise when children cannot/do not easily move in and out of the position or they sit in this position for too long.
Long-term challenges, W-sitting can:
-Increase the risk of hip & leg muscles becoming short and tight… negatively affecting coordination, balance, and gross motor skills
-Increase risk of hip dislocation
-Cause Abnormal Development in hip/feet
-kids are unable to rotate their upper body (they can’t cross midline, reach over to grab something… affecting handwriting skills and table-top activities
-Hinders development of a hand-preference (coordination difficulties)
-Unable to weight-shift (important in balance and gross motor skills)
-Hinders development of the trunk/core muscles
-Remind them to “fix your legs!” when you see a W-sit
-Encourage other positions like:
*Long sitting (legs straight out in front)
*Tailor Sitting (criss cross)
*Lying in prone (on the belly, propped up on elbows)
*Table Top (All Fours of Floor, knees/hands)