W Sitting Alternatives
Written on August 25, 2021
W Sitting. Why do children W sit? Simply, because it’s easy! Kids like W sitting because it creates a large base of support like a pyramid.
Why do we want to correct the W sitting?
- W sitting allows kids to sit and play by using very little core muscles.
- It prevents trunk rotation. Trunk rotation strengthens the muscles necessary for typical movement.
- This posture discourages the use of midline hand crossing with play. Movements that cross our midline improves communication with both sides of the brain and eventually help develop a dominant hand.
- If your child has a diagnosis that causes high or low tone it is important to discourage W sitting to improve their postural control and prevent muscle inbalances.
5 alternative ways to sit on the floor!
- Criss Cross. Sometimes referred to criss cross applesauce. While W sitting discourages trunk rotation and midline crossing, criss cross legs do just the opposite! The legs are crossed through midline and does not restrict trunk rotation.
- Side Sitting. Encourage side sitting on both the left and right side to stretch and strengthen their core muscles.
- Kneeling and Tall kneeling. Children who kneel will also move in and out of tall kneeling or standing on their knees. Try putting legos on the floor next to a coffee table to encourage kneeling to tall kneeling to improve leg, hip and core strength!
- Tummy Time. Tummy time is not just for infants. We should always encourage our kids and to get back to our bellies to improve our back strength and head posture.
- Wiggle seats. Balance pads are great for kids to sit on for added cushion and improve trunk stability. It also helps with our sensory kids who love to move. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=child%27s+wiggle+seat&i=sporting&ref=nb_sb_noss
Sitting in a variety of positions is helpful to strengthen different muscles that support our child’s whole body. Poor posture can limit our child’s attention, dexterity, vision, digestion, participation, and so much more! So fix those legs!
If you notice your child is resistant to moving out of W sitting or has other postural deficits that you are concerned about, BDI Playhouse offers free screenings https://bdiplayhouse.com/physical-therapy/ and we can help with strategies for core strength, postural alignment and trunk stability.
Written by Dana Bukala, PTA