As children, humans show an amazing amount of flexibility that adults can only dream of. This is due to the fact that our bones are just starting to harden and toughen as we grow old. Due to the nature of our bones, we are able to bend our limbs in ways that we can only dream of doing as adults. One of such postures is called the “W Sitting Position”, a sitting position as the name implies described by pediatricians and other medical experts as a sitting position where children rest their knees to the floor, with their feet tucked under, their bottom simply resting on the floor between the legs, with the legs spread on a wide angle, making a distinct W shape.
This doesn’t bother most children as, by the time they are able to stand and sit on their own, they know very well what and what doesn’t hurt themselves. But experts do warn that letting your children sit in this position will have bad long-term effects on their bodies.
This sitting position highly affects the undeveloped bones and muscles structures of the body as children apply more and more pressure to joints that shouldn’t be feeling as much stress as they are. Children who have routinely sat with the W sitting position is known to grow older with weaker joints and poor coordination and balance. Alongside these already bad traits, the W sitting position is also linked to sensory concerns, generalized muscle weakness, and also decreased fine and gross motor coordination.
Most people justify this sitting position as they claim that it provides better balance and is a better sitting position than the crisscrossed sitting position. While the whole argument about better balance is true, it is only true due to the fact that the W sitting position doesn’t really rely on their core, rather it relies on the legs spread wide and it’s joint structures.
All this causes posterior pelvic tilt that can, in turn, manifest into a poor sitting posture, decreased core activation, reduced trunk rotation, and delayed fine motor development. Alongside these, doing the W sitting position also causes the child to have poorer balance response than the average kid, which results in difficulty in integrating the left and right sides of the body,
Abnormalities caused by this sitting position are the pigeon-toed gait walking pattern and the tibial torsion joint abnormality just to name a few. Usually, parents wouldn’t mind letting their children have this sitting position until half a year before 3 years of age, which is alright for up until 3 years of age, the bones and muscle structures alike are only starting to develop, thus retaining their malleable and flexible trait.