If you see children doing this with their legs, stop them immediately

Written by Henrik Rothen

Sep.16 - 2023 2:46 PM CET

Photo: Private
Photo: Private
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It's quite common for children to sit in a W-position, where they sit on their knees and let their feet slide out to the sides, forming a W shape from their hips to their ankles.

While this position may seem harmless, it can actually have serious orthopedic consequences, warns a doctor from the physiotherapy company Movement RX in San Francisco.

The W-position is not only bad for the hips, knees, and ankles, where the joints get twisted and can later become slack, but it can also delay the development of proper posture in the back because the abdominal muscles are not adequately trained.

When the "corset" of muscles around the abdomen is not sufficiently trained, most activities become more difficult, whether it's sports, lifting things, or simply walking.

The doctor suggests praising children when they sit in an ergonomically healthy position.

This could be with straight legs, in a tailor's position, or in a "side position," where both legs are gathered to one side.

Another option is to simply move one of the child's legs if they are sitting in a W-position, so that one leg is moved next to the other, and the child sits in a "side position."