Have you ever seen your child or even someone else’s sitting on the floor with their legs out on both their sides forming the W shape? Commonly known as W sitting, this position may prove to you just how flexible a child is.
While flexibility is good for the muscles, this sitting position is definitely not. The harmful effects of sitting in this position will not appear right away, but simply sitting this way can give long term complications and changes to your child. It’s time you stop your child from sitting this way. Here are compelling reasons why:
1. Restricted Hip Movement: Because there is too much stress on the knees and hips, the knees and hips eventually adapt to the abnormal force of this sitting position. Over time, the external rotation of the hips will be restricted, making it difficult for the child to sit with his or her legs in front of the body.
2. Tibial Torsion: W sitting also has an impact on the alignment of the thigh and the lower leg. Unfortunately, the child’s lower leg will twist outward and then becomes stiff over time when this position becomes a habit. The lower legs then get used to excessive lateral rotation, often referred to as tibial torsion.
3. Muscle Tightness: This tightness is felt over the side of the hips and means that the child finds it difficult to balance using one leg.
4. Orthopedic Concerns: This type of sitting position may predispose your child to developing hip dislocation.
5. Neurological or Developmental Holdups: Oftentimes, children who sit in this position also have a problem walking and standing up, causing delays despite their age. W sitting can also stop your child from having a hand preference because there is no trunk rotation.
Breaking the Habit
It will definitely take a lot of time and patience. Plus, your child will need your physical and verbal guidance, but all these efforts will be worth it in the end. Every time you see your child sitting in this position, help them out of it. Teach them the lotus position or allow them to sit on a chair.
Remind them to sit up straight every time they are on a chair or even at a desk. It also helps if you let your child move around. Keep them active at all times by stretching, playing, and running around can break that W sitting habit.