Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

September 3, 2019

W-sitting in Children

By:  Lindsay Sawyer, PT, DPT

“W-sitting” is often a term used to describe a sitting position where a child’s bottom is on the floor with their feet splayed to the sides forming a “w” shape with their legs and knees.  This position requires the hips to maintain extreme internal rotation and causes the hamstrings, adductors and achilles tendons to be shortened.

While this may seem like a harmless position for your child to maintain, it could actually be causing negative long term effects. Some of these effects could include:

  • Poor postural control
  • Hamstring tightness or tibial torision
  • Poor activation of the core and trunk muscles
  • Poor transition between functional positions such as kneeling or crawling
  • Lack of cross body movements, limiting the child to midline play only

Other sitting positions to encourage:

  • Tailor sitting or “crisscross apple sauce”
  • Butterfly pose
  • Long sitting
  • Side Sitting
  • Tall kneel
  • Prone