How should your child sit?

If you have children yourself or if you are close with any children in your life, you may recognize this sitting position, where the legs appear to form a letter “W.”

W-sitting is not recommended for anyone. Many developing children tend to sit in this position during play, but all parents should be aware that the excessive use of this position during the growing years can lead to future orthopedic problems.

During W sitting the muscles that twist the hip outwards tend to be weak. The sitting position causes imbalanced muscle use resulting in improper gait.

Thus when the child lifts the foot forwards to take a step, the hip twists inwards so that the foot lands on the ground with the toes pointing inwards. This is referred to as an in-toeing gait, and also called walking pigeon-toed.

As a parent, it is important to recognize when your child is sitting in the W position and to correct it.

How should your child sit?

Sitting cross-legged, with the legs straight out, or with both knees bent to one side are much preferred, and don’t carry the same negative impact on the body.