Hardly would you encounter a child that has not tried sitting in the W” position. This position is aptly called the “W” sitting position because it is when children sit on their back side, with their knees bent, their feet tucked under, and their legs spread to the side seemingly forming the letter “W”. Children seem to like this sitting position because it apparently makes them feel safe and buoyed. One could be forgiven for failing to see the dangers of this sitting position to the overall wellbeing of the child as it looks innocent enough at first glance.
It is important to note that sitting in a “W” position for an extended length of time or habitually can adversely affect a child’s growth and development patterns.
The adverse effects of the “W” sitting position include the following:
– Possible delay in the development of refined motor skills
– Orthopedic difficulties
– Potentially sluggish development of postural control and stability
Children at an early stage need to have their bone structures well developed and the “W” sitting position does a lot to hinder the proper growth and development of their bones. The posture also puts an unnecessary strain on the body of children and should be discouraged.
“W” sitting puts undue pressure on muscles and tissues such as:
– The Hamstrings
– Internal Rotators
– The Heel Cords
– The Hip Abductors
The risks to children who frequently sit in the “W” position include – High risk of dislocation, a lessened need for stability, postural control, and a weight shift during play; thereby weakening their trunk muscles or deterring its overall development. It can also cause a tightening of muscles, poor growth and development of motor skills, balance, and coordination to highlight but a few problems the “W” sitting position can cause.
Determined supervision seems to be the only realistic way to stop this seating habit. The child should be taught to sit properly especially when they are on the floor. Preferably encourage the child to sit of a small stool or chair which has been specifically procured for them.
The information highlighted in this article is not meant to scare anyone but rather to make parents more aware of easily negligible day to day occurrence that could be a causative problem for their children’s poor developmental issues without them even knowing it.
If you are dismayed by this post, please make reference to this original and this child development article response. While it is not believed that all children that sit in the “W” position will have severe issues, it is recommended that they do not to avoid any of the more serious conditions stated earlier in this article.