How Sitting in the ‘W’ Position Poses Risks To Your Health
Anyone who has a love affair with video games (or any form of entertainment where you’re sitting) is familiar with about twenty different seated and lying postures. Getting that right level of comfort needed to bunker down and cruise through a 2-hour long movie or an 8-hour long video game in one sitting is absolutely necessary. So, it would follow that knowledge of health risks associated with certain postures is a good thing to have around.
When we were younger, my brother and I would often embark on these grand video game adventures together, side-by-side. I noticed that he almost always sat on the floor in a ‘W’ position. He’d plop down on the floor with his legs out to his sides, as if he were sitting on the inside of his thighs. I didn’t understand how that could be comfortable, and I don’t think he does it anymore, but for a time it worried me.
Sitting in this position often and for extended periods of time is absolutely terrible for you, as it turns out. One of the more serious orthopedic conditions that stems from sitting like this is losing one’s ability to shift weight and achieve what is called “trunk rotation.”
Children need to develop trunk rotation in order to develop adequate balance reactions, like catching yourself when you’re about to fall or when you slip on something. These abilities are vital to crossing the central nervous system midline, which is necessary for writing.
As children grow, each motor skill gets mastered in a specific order, as each one builds upon the previous one. Sitting in the ‘W’ position interrupts bilateral coordination, which can lead to dramatic delays in developing other skills, like hand dominance, skipping, throwing, kicking, etc.
This seated position also causes shortening and tightening of the leg and hip muscles, which can cause someone to walk “pigeon-toed.” The video below explains the dangers associated with a child sitting in this position: