Sunday 21/01/2018 - 06:50 am


Why the "W" sitting position IS bad for kids - and how to stop your child adopting it


2017.04.11 10:14

 As a parent , you may have noticed how your little ones seem to favour one sitting position in particular.

The popular W position is when kids (and sometimes adults) sit flat on their bottoms with their legs splayed out to each side, knees bent and feet pointing outwards - forming the letter W.

Much is written and said about the W position.

Even the briefest of searches for information on it online will throw up conflicting information .

There are a great deal ominous articles warning parents to about the dangers of this position.

There are also articles stating its not a health risk, and parents should NOT worry.

 To get to the bottom of the issue, MirrorOnline spoke to Osteopath Avni Trivedi about the growth, development and orthopedic problems it may cause.
Why is it bad?

"Sitting can be described as a new health epidemic," Avni says.

However, as she explains, "the W position in particular can throw the lumbar spine, or lower back into too much of an arch, which can cause pain.

"This position can also put pressure on the developing joints of the lower body such as hips and knees.

"For children that may be hypermobile, sitting in the W position may overstretch the joints and can weaken the trunk muscles as they are not required to be as active."

"Sitting for too long generally can place undue pressure on the neck, shoulders and upper back.

"As it is kids spend too long craning into screens and carrying heavy backpacks, so avoid exacerbating the tension in these areas.

"Wherever possible," she continues, "kids should avoid sitting with their legs crossed as it tends to be the same leg that crosses over each time which can cause an imbalance in the alignment of the body."

Instead, encourage your children as follows.

"Encourage kids to spend as much time on the ground as possible.

"Its helpful to maintain the natural flexibility they have in their hips and spine as well as to keep them balanced in themselves.

"Also time on the ground helps to keep a body connection, rather than disappearing into gadgets and gizmos.

Avni recommends keeping a pile of firm cushions or bolsters for them to sit on so "they can sit cross-legged, straddle-sit, or sit in a squat, or sit with their knees raised.

"A low table is useful for arts and crafts and homework. Balance out time sitting i.e. revising for exams with time outside playing or walking in nature.

For parents who want to correct their childrens posture, Avni advises the following.

"Ensure that you are modelling good posture before you preach to your little ones!"

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