What is “W” sitting?

“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

Comments

  1. Great question! I am most concerned when a child sits only in the “w” position, all the time. If she varies her position, then I am much less concerned, especially before age two. I would have her pediatrician assess her strength and major motor milestones at your next visit (15 month well child check). Good luck!

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  2. At what age is W sitting a concern, or is should it always be discouraged. My 13mo does it but not all the time and sometimes with only one leg to the back and the other out front. She’s not walking yet. Just wondering if the W sitting may be part of the issue or if she’ll grow out of it on her own. Thanks!

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