Sitting in this position for too long is not good for the child. (Source: myfootdr/Instagram)
You might sometimes find a child sitting on the floor with their knees bent in, legs on either side and feet tucked outwards. In other words, their sitting posture is shaped like 'W', known as "W-sitting".
W-sitting: Causes and effect
Parents are likely to notice "W-sitting" more in kids between the ages three and six years. This could be because of anatomical variances in the hip joint, where the thigh bones are turned inwards, known as femoral anteversion. Your child may sit in the position quite comfortably but sitting like this for a long time, however, would mean they do not use their core muscles, which could lead to weakened fine motor development.
"W-sitting" can also impact coordination between the right and left sides of the child's body. It increases the risk of imperfect posture, and affect the ability to run, climb or jump.
How to avoid W-sitting
To avoid this, parents need to encourage kids to sit upright and cross-legged on the floor. This allows better movement of the hands and their body weight to shift from side to side easily. Sitting in this posture will also encourage kids to use their back and abdominal muscles.
(With inputs from Dr Pramod Bhor, orthopedist & joint replacement surgeon, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi)