The W-sit: Is it Bad? By Resonance Podiatrist Caron Orelowitz

W-sitting. This is possibly one of the most talked-about (and argued-about) topics in the therapy and child development world.

It is one of the many concerns that I see in the clinic.

What is it and why do kids w-sit?

W-sitting is a position in which you are sitting on your bottom, with knees bent, legs splayed out to each side, and inside of the foot pressing on the floor, in a “W” configuration.

The tops of the knees are so medially rotated they are facing each other. This position is commonly used by children and is so common that most parents don’t realise it can have a negative impact on their child’s growth and development.

So, why does this happen? Frequently, this happens because children have not had enough tummy, rolling and horizontal play time before walking. Too much time with assisted sitting positions such as in modern baby furniture, car seats and walkers, where the spine doesn’t have to be active can also be a cause of this.

In a nutshell – decreased core strength.

For many kids with weak core muscles, W-sitting is a compensatory strategy to help gain stability. The problem is that sitting in this position all the time just continues the cycle of core weakness. Kids who are already weak don’t get exposure to the important core strengthening benefits of unsupported sitting when they are in this position all the time.

If you are at all concerned about the way your child walks, sits, runs, or if your child complains of pains in their feet or legs, it is time to book an appointment today.

by Resonance Podiatrist Caron Orelowitz

Resonance Step + Stride Podiatry

www.respod.co.nz

0800 473 776

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