Parents, Teachers, W sitting is a problem, says physical therapist.

By on May 11, 2017

Lauren Drobnjak, a pediatric physical therapist warns parents that W-sitting is a problem. “This position limits trunk rotation so that kids can’t shift their weight to either side. This affects the development of balance reactions and the ability to cross midline. Hip and leg muscles can also become shortened and tight which may lead to “pigeon toed” walking and back or pelvis pain as they grow.”

NORMAL-FOOT-VS-PIGEON-TOED-FOOTMost kids especially in Japan where there is a culture of sitting on the legs have plenty to think about. When kids W-sit, a child’s main support is wider and his center of gravity is lower, allowing for increased stability through the hips and trunk. Children whether at play in school or at home find this position convenient because they do not have to work on keeping their balance while putting their focus on toys.

The sad part is it leads to wobbly feet and bow leggedness. There is a high incidence of bow-leggedness in Japan.

 

Additionally, according to the physical therapist, the core strength of a child may be put to risk such as delayed developmental skills and overcompensation of other muscle groups. To correct a child’s sitting posture early, she recommends the following:

1) Encourage other ways to sit on the floor. Side sitting (to either side), long sitting (legs out in front), pretzel sitting on a low bench or stool. Consistency is important!

2) f you find that your child has difficulty maintaining any other position than W-sitting, it may be worthwhile to seek the advice of a pediatrician or physical therapist for suggestions on how to correct his position and for treatment of any underlying strength deficits or muscle tightening that has resulted.  Ideally, you want to avoid the development of this habit.  Keep your children sitting tall, strong, and proud like Frosty the Snowman and avoid the droopy look of a snowman that saw too much sun!

3) Do core strengthening exercises

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