Do you often let your child play on the table or on the floor? Have you noticed your child sitting in the W-sitting position?
W-sitting when a child sits in a posture with their legs bent away from their hips, resting on their bottom. You’ll see them making the shape of a W when you stand above your child. If you have seen them in this sitting posture, it might be time to start changing their sitting position. If you think W-sitting position is just one of the many ways we sit, think again.
Here’s three misconceptions people have of the W-sitting position:
01. Being able to sit like that shows that one is more flexible.
W-sitting does show your child’s flexibility, but that because of the increased flexibility and malleability of bones and joints that have yet to fully develop. Though flexibility is good for our muscles, this sitting position is definitely not.
02. It does not have any bad effects even after they get older.
Young toddlers tend to sit in this position without feeling any pain due to the malleability of their bones and joints at their age. However, allowing them to continue in this sitting position as they grow older can actually result in orthopaedic conditions, causing stress on their hips and legs. It can also decrease their gross motor coordination
03. It provides a more stable sitting position.
It indeed can be a more stable sitting position for your child. With legs splayed out at the sides, it provides a wider base, lessening the effort needed for the child to hold their trunks upright. However, this results in a poor sitting posture since W-sitting will cause the front of the pelvis to rise and the back of the pelvis to drop. Lack of muscles activation will lead to decreased coordination.
Though it is perfectly fine for your child to sit in this posture while they are still young, it might become a habit for them as they grow older.
Here’s what you can do:
- Remind them to change their sitting posture whenever you spot them in a W-sitting position and be consistent in doing so!
- Change the playing area on the floor to a table or offer them a small chair or stool to sit on.
- Show them other ways of sitting on the floor and encourage them to do so!
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