What is W-Sitting?

If your child sits with his bottom on the ground and his legs rotated out to the side he is W-Sitting. Feet may be turned inwards or outwards. The legs form a ‘W’ like the picture.

Children often start sitting this way at around 11 months. It’s o.k. to try it and use it for a short time. However, as children get older, it should be discouraged.

What’s wrong with W-Sitting?

W-Sitting:

  • Stresses the joints and damages the hips and knees.
  • Encourages pigeon toes – turning in of the feet.
  • Prevents development of core tummy muscles and balance.
  • Discourages cross-body movement – right and left side shifting. Cross-body movement is important for lots of activities, from running to table activities like coloring or writing.
  • Tightens & shortens hamstrings and calf muscles preventing proper foot position.

How to prevent W-Sitting

If you see your child W-Sitting:

  • Say, Criss cross, applesauce. Or Legs in front, please. And model how to do it. Encourage switching which leg goes in front or on top.
  • Have your child sit on a bench or chair instead of the ground.
  • Encourage Long sitting with the legs straight out in front.
  • Encourage Ring or Taylor sitting – feet facing each other in front.
  • Encourage Side sitting. Make sure sitting is alternated between right and left side regularly.

Alternative & appropriate ways to sit

Jenni Rice - Owner & Director
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