W-sitting is when a child sits with their knees bent and out to the side with their feet tucked under and out the back, and their bottom on the floor between their legs. If you look down on a child sitting in this position their legs will look like they make a “W”.
Young children will typically move in and out of W-sitting as they shift from crawling to sitting. This is not a bad thing as long as they don’t stay in the position for a very long period.
Some of the signs of stress on a child’s body due to W sitting are:
- Turning of the hips, knees and feet.
- Low pelvic tone and poor core strength
- Tight hamstring muscles, low back muscles and increased in the lumbar spine curve
- May affect hand/eye coordination, shoulder movements and cross body actions due to poor core strength and control.
With many effects as a result of w-sit, we wanted to share what can be done to minimise these consequences and keep your children aligned and healthy.
What can you do?
- Get checked by a qualified Chiropractor, Osteopath or Physiotherapist. They will assess and treat any associated joint restrictions and muscle imbalances which may be causing them to W-sit and address any tightness or weaknesses associated with prolonged sitting in this position. Typically exercises will be given for core strength and cross body coordination.
- Gently encourage your child not to sit in a W, instead guide them to sit cross-legged.
- Try Side Sit: both knees bent, with their body and weight shifted to the side over one hip. This removes pressure from the hips, but ensures the child moves from side to side to even load the hips re development.
If you have a toddler that you are concerned about, contact us and book an appointment to see how we can help.