Have you ever seen your child in this 'W' sitting position? Children with low muscle tone, hypermobility, or decreased balance and trunk control are more likely to use 'W' sitting as their primary sitting posture. W-sitting becomes habitual because it provides a large, stable base so children can use their hands freely while playing without disrupting their balance (I.e. without activating core muscles while engaging in play). 'W' sitting may resolve on its own as your child grows and develops stronger abdominal control, however, persistent 'W' sitting can cause orthopedic issues such as tightness or contractures in leg muscles, delays in bilateral coordination and fine motor development, core muscle weakness and trunk instability, and in-toeing gait (aka: "pigeon toe" walking).
Exercises we might use in PT are bridges, superman, and trunk rotation to strengthen the core and help the child establish greater abdominal control. Aside from exercise, it is important to correct and prevent 'W' sitting postures by offering alternative sitting positions such as long sitting, long sitting with one leg bent, or modifying seating arrangements by providing a stool or chair to sit on. Consistency and awareness helps in breaking this habit! Make sure your child knows what the other options are so they can choose a comfortable alternative that supports their alignment and development. If you observe your child in 'W' sitting often or if your child expresses that certain activities are difficult, or alternative sitting positions are uncomfortable, there might be an underlying challenge with core strength, instability, or decreased postural awareness that requires further evaluation and intervention.