“W” sitting is when a child sits on the floor with their bottom under them, their knees out front and their legs and feet behind and out to the sides so that if you are looking from above they appear to be in the shape of a “W.”
Young children often like to sit this way as it gives them a stable position to play due to the low center of gravity and wide base of support. Pediatric Physical Therapists discourage “W” sitting as this position limits rotation of the trunk and range of reach during play. It can also affect balance and strength of the hip and leg muscles in the long-term. For some children, ones who only sit this way, “W” sitting can indicate poor core muscle strength. In this case, “W” sitting is worth a mention to your child’s doctor and a possible referral for evaluation by a physical therapist.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, April 2019