Children sitting in the ‘W Position’ could experience pain later in life, health experts warn

You probably may not always pay much attention to the way your child sits on the floor, but research has warned against the dangers of the ‘W position’.

This seating position, where knees are bent and the legs are facing outwards, is popular amongst young children.

It seems to be a comfortable way for them to watch TV for long periods of time.

But The Paediatric Therapy Centre has spoken out against the effect this can have on child development, warning parents that it can put significant strain on their legs, ankles and hips, causing them to walk with their toes turned inwards.

It’s not just the lower body that’s affected either, making something so simple more dangerous than we first thought.

The ‘W position’ can also affect core strength and motor skills, which would then harm their balance and ability to run and jump during school years.

According to Kidspot, Dr Sam Hay reassured parents: ‘I think the first thing I want to say to parents is: don’t panic if your child sits like this occasionally. The issue is if it’s their preferred sitting position.’

However, the most serious and long-lasting damage to come out of this position is something called hip dysplasia, which ‘leads to poor walking, running, and severe arthritis into early adult years.’

Experts strongly advise that you help them to break the habit, due to the serious consequences that can come from repeatedly sitting in this position.

child sitting

Credit: REX/Shutterstock

The recommended seating position for your child has the legs turned inwards, not outwards, to prevent long-term damage to the lower body. This is a safer way for your child to sit for long periods of time, as it won’t affect their development later in life.

So while there’s no need to panic immediately, it’s important to stay vigilant and help support your child’s development by simply encouraging them to adopt this new position.