W-sitting seems harmless but this position does more harm than good for children. For many children, this position gives them a feeling of being planted or stable while playing with toys in front of them. However, the position keeps the child from rotating their trunk and leaning to either side. The lack of trunk rotation and inability to lean over one side of their body can hinder balance in other activities like running or simply playing within the community. Over time the dependence on W-sitting during activities can keep children from reaching their developmental milestones.
W-sitting is contraindicated for any children with orthopedic problems such as hip dysplasia. Children with a history of contractures or spastic muscles should avoid this type of sitting since it can exacerbate the already tight muscle fibers. If you have any questions about W-sitting or any questions in regards to pediatric physical therapy, feel free to ask!