Is “W-sitting” always poor posture or bad for your child?
Yes and no – it’s not exactly black and white. “W-sitting” is NOT a position you want your child to be in when stationary – ever. Sitting in this position puts your child’s knees and hips at risk for hypermobility and creates potential for future hip and knee injuries and pain. However, there are instances when a child moves through this position in a fluid manner that are appropriate. For example, when a child is learning to sit or crawl and move for the first time, and up until they begin to pull to a standing position, moving through this position can be expected. As long as your child is not sitting or remaining stationary in this position, fluidly moving through this position is considered a normal part of development. If your child is 18 months or older and you find them deferring to this position on a regular basis, this could be a potential sign of hypotonia and a weak core. In addition to potential joint problems, long-term implications of “W-sitting” include poor postural control, as this position limits core muscle activation and inhibits trunk rotation, as well as difficulties with crossing midline, which can impact both fine motor and gross motor skill development. Check in with your local OT if you have concerns about your child’s “W-sitting” – San Diego Occupational Therapy offers free screenings if you have any concerns! Just give us a call.