“I had a patient recently ask me if it is okay for her thirteen-month-old daughter to be W-sitting during playtime. The short answer is: absolutely NOT!” –
Stephanie Galanis, Yummy Mummy Club
CLICK HERE: The Dreaded W-Sitting In Toddlers
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Mary Fontaine says
W-sitting is part of many young children’s transitional movement phases. If children sit in a W for long periods of time over long periods of time, it can affect their lower extremity alignment. Sitting in a W may indicate postural tone issues and the child may need an evaluation for some underlying neuromotor issues. Children should be encouraged to change their sitting postures–long sitting, side sitting, cross leg sitting, etc when sitting on the floor.
Ms. Fontaine, are you a physician, a researcher that has done a long term study on this postion? I have seen comments exactly like yours before and until they do an actual long term study of children who sit in the “w” position, who are you or anyone else to tell parents “Do not let your child sit in the “w” position”. Just because you read an article by a physical therapist or heard it somewhere does not mean you should pass this information on to others. I and many others sat in this position when we were small children and have no ill effects of sitting this way. My son also sat this way as a small child and has had not ill effects from the “w” position. I have yet to find an actual medical study that show sitting in the “w” position causes harm. Every child is different and should be evaluated on an individual basis!!!!
I’m a physical therapist and I can tell you that I agree with this article as far as the alignment issues. This posture can cause your child to be knockneed as the develop which predisposes them for ACL injuries. You are stretch the ligaments on the inside portion of the knee and tightening the one on the outside. There is something called a Q angle which girls tend to have a bigger one then boys. The larger the q angle the more you’re predisposed to acl ruptures and arthritis at a younger age. Not to mention w sitting decreases core development which is what stabilizes are spine. Your core muscles (abs, paraspinals,etc) will weaken because instead of contracting them to stabilize themselves they just balance on their w which is a much wider base of support than the other sitting styles. There is tons of research to support all of this.
Racheal K says
I agree RJ I am an adult and it helps with flexibility for my legs!
Totally agree. I had 8 kids, 2 of which were boys. I had ample opportunity to study the pro’s n cons of sitting positions and discouraged both the Y and the Q position. Instead they sat w legs outstretched in front, crossing their legs or sitting on their heels was avoided too. My kids always sat with feet parallel, avoiding the very things my own mother warned me about. I had untreated rickets as a 4 yr old, so I took care to ensure my kids had straight legs. And they do, although one has an extra floating small bone in her foot, a congenital issue that although fairly common is usually not a problem to most. Interesting though. Thanks for sharing. 🙂