If you’ve ever been to a childcare facility or in the company of small children, you may have heard a vigilant mother or father repeating the phrase “No W” to their little tykes. Confused? No, it’s not an aversion to the 23rd letter of the alphabet, but rather a style of sitting that might look innocent, but can have long-term health effects on children.
The ‘W’ position is so called because it makes the child’s legs and torso look like the letter name that it bears. According to Pediatric Services, the position is popular among children who struggle to maintain their balance when playing on the floor.
The problems with ‘W’ sitting are legion, according to the Dover Express. Prolonged periods in the position make children more prone to hip displacement, can cause delays in posture control and stability, and lead to weaknesses in muscles throughout the torso and legs.
While young children might feel more comfortable in the ‘W’ position early on, it will ultimately lessen their ability to stay balanced, according to occupational therapist Audrey Siders.
“Weight shifting and trunk rotation play an important role in balancing, crossing midline and using both hands together, which are skills that provide the foundation for hand preference and the development of fine motor skills,” Siders opined for Up Rehab.