W-sitting is a position commonly adopted by children either at home or at care and gets its name from the resemblance to a “W” that the legs make when a child sits with their bottom in between their legs, their knees bent and legs rotated away from their body. This position is generally easier for children to adopt than adults due to increased mobility through the hip joints. It’s a convenient position for children to adopt while playing on the floor as it increases the child’s base of support and lowers the centre of gravity closer to the ground.
W-sitting can be part of a normal repertoire of movement for children while they develop, but it is often demonized and parents are frequently advised to eliminate this position at all costs! If your child is using this position as part of a range of different postures during play, it’s not all bad news! However, if your child chooses to W-sit ALL or MOST of the time, it may be an indicator of problems such as low muscle tone, joint hypermobility, or reduced strength through the core, hip and trunk.
The best way to overcome this habit is to encourage other postures while playing on the floor. This can range from side sitting, long sitting, or even tummy time (it’s not just for babies!). Breaking up prolonged periods of sitting with activities in standing, balancing on one leg or kneeling is another great way to help overcome this habit.
If your child’s W-sitting is worrying you, or you have concerns about your child’s movement, posture, or development, do seek help from a health professional such as a physiotherapist with experience in pediatric and developmental practice.
Disclaimer: Mother Duck has no affiliation with Q Paediatrics.
Q Paediatrics offers physiotherapy services exclusively to children from infancy to adulthood (0 – 18yrs). Our aim is to optimise your child’s physical development and functional performance throughout the various stages of their development. Q Paediatrics has clinics conveniently located across Brisbane, including Camp Hill, Indooroopilly, The Gap and Albany Creek.