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What is W-sitting?

W-sitting is a common sitting position used by young children when playing.  It is achieved by the child sitting between their legs.  Children who have a reduced ability to balance are those most likely to sit in this way.  It allows them to play with their toys without having to worry about balancing or falling.  Children will frequently move through a variety of positions including w-sitting whilst playing.  However, if your child sits this way excessively it may lead to problems in the future.

Some problems with excessive W-sitting 

  • In this position the child has to rely less on their core body muscles (eg. back and stomach muscles) so these may not develop properly
  • Sitting balance skills do not develop or may be delayed
  • It may lead to problems with the child’s hips and knees including poor alignment, pigeon toe gait, tripping, unstable ligaments or pain

Preferred sitting and play positions

There are various ways you can help your child to stop w-sitting or at least reduce the amount of time they spend in this position:

  • Prevent your child from getting into the habit of w-sitting
  • Have your child play with toys on a table or desk so that they may stand up or sit on a chair
  • Encourage the child when sitting on the floor to sit with their legs out in front, crossed or side sitting (legs together on one side)

If you need further advice please arrange a consultation with one of our Paediatric Podiatrists. | Foot Health Clinic is located in Samford, North Brisbane | Call 07 3289 6050 for information or consultations

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