As a podiatrist I am constantly seeing the negative affects of W sitting in kids.
So what is W sitting?
The ‘W’ sit is when children sit on their bums with their knees bent and their feet are out on either side of their hips – making the shape of a W with their legs.
What is the problem with W sitting?
You will often see kids sitting in this position when playing on the floor and they often choose this position because it feels stable. While it may look innocent enough, there are some long-term health consequences that can arise from this sitting position. Over time it can result in a conditions commonly called ‘out-toeing’ or ‘in-toeing’. These refer to the toes pointing inwards or outwards, rather than forwards in a neutral position. In severe cases it can cause a twist in the leg bones and cause permanent bone deformity.
How should my child sit instead?
W sitting is fine for your child if it’s only for short periods of time. The problem occurs when the child sits like this for the majority of their floor time. I would highly recommend all parents observe their children sitting and playing on the floor, if they have a natural tendency to W sit then start working on breaking that habit. I recommend that children should spend time in a variety of postures including cross-legged, legs straight out or in a ring.
When should I seek professional advice?
If your child does have a tendency towards W sitting, observe them while walking and pay close attention to their foot position. If you see the feet turning inwards to any degree or turning out more than 15 degrees I would recommend you see a podiatrist for a more detailed assessment. The sooner treatment is implement the better treatment outcomes you can expect.
Does your child ‘W’ sit? Please comment below.
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