W-Sitting In Children

By Jacqui Eaton, Physiotherapist

W-Sitting“W-sit” is a term to describe a sitting position in which a child sits on the floor with their bottom between bent legs and their legs rotated so they are facing away from their body. Their legs form a “W” shape on the floor.

This position of choice is usually adopted during the child’s transition from crawling to sitting. It is adopted primarily because having a wide base gives the child stability. The result is that the child’s trunk muscles are denied valuable practice in adjusting to lateral (sideways) weight shifts.

W-sitting is discouraged because of the long-term effect it could have on the muscles and joints of the back, hips, knees and feet.

What can you do to help avoid W-sitting?

  • Break the habit
  • Sit on chairs appropriate for your child’s height and weight
  • Encourage cross legged sitting
  • Encourage crawling
  • Build balance and core stability – your physiotherapist can guide you through this.

For further advice or assessment of your child, contact Jacqui at Rathmines Physiotherapy and Injury Centre on 02 4975 1622.


  • University of Newcastle Paediatric Physiotherapy Module
  • Sydney Children’s Hospital Outpatients Department
  • Paediatric Physiotherapy Department – Grafton DADHC
  • Margaret Stroh – learninglinks.org.au
  • LaurenWelle.com