W-sitting can cause pelvis and lower back pain in the future. Walking issues may be coming from the pelvis, so it’s important to have children’s spines checked!
So what is W-sitting?
W-sitting is when a child sits on the floor with their bottom between their legs and their knees are bent. Their legs are rotated away from the body. if you stand above them and look down, it looks like wheir legs are forming a “W”.
W-sitting causes the hip and leg muscles to become shortened and tight which could increase chance of back or pelvis pain as they grow. One study also suggests that W-sitting as a preschooler may increase the likelihood of a child becoming flat footed in both feet (European Journal of Pediatrics, Chen KC, 2010)*.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
Ideally, you want to avoid your child developing this habit. Encourage other ways to sit on the floor as W sitting may lead to poor posture, delayed developmental skills, and overcompensation of other muscle groups.
It may be worthwhile to seek advice for suggestions on how to correct their position and for treatment of any underlying strength deficits or muscle tightening that has resulted.
Dr Sarah MacNeil
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