Have you ever noticed your child sitting with his or her legs in the shape of a W? This is a common sitting position, known as W-sitting, and while many children may find this position comfortable, it can also cause many problems. Sitting this way can prevent children from being able to develop their core muscles and hinders them from twisting at the trunk when reaching out to grasp objects. These twisting and reaching movements help children develop the coordination necessary to catch themselves while falling. In addition these motions are also important for brain development as they help foster the child’s ability to reach across the body. These motions become important for later skills such as handwriting. Beyond developmental risks, the hips become improperly stretched out from sitting in this position, which can cause your child to walk pigeon toed, or with their feet turned in. This will impact balance, walking patterns, and the ability to develop higher coordination for sports. Finally, W-sitting may also predispose children to knee injuries due to excessive stress on the ligaments. If you have questions about W-siting, or would like guidance on healthy positions or activities for your child, call or stop in to Hands On Physical Therapy to see one of our pediatric therapists!
Kids Corner: The Negatives of W-Sitting
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