Starfish Therapies

April 21, 2009

Why is W-sitting a Four Letter Word?


I’m constantly amazed at how often I see children w-sitting these days.  I often treat children in pre-school or daycare settings and I see many children plop right down into w-sitting and stay there for an extended period of time.  They are playing without a care in the world and they have no idea that I am cringing inside (well okay I’m sure some of it spills over to the outside).  With the children I work with many parents have no idea that this is not a ‘good’ sitting posture.  Many of them sat that way as a child or their older children sit that way.    “What’s wrong with W-sitting?” addresses many of the issues with w-sitting as well as some ways to encourage your child not to do this.  In addition to what is mentioned in the previous article it is also bad for a child’s hip development and stability.  When a child is born their femurs (thigh bones) are internally rotated and they derotate (a topic for another blog) through development and positioning.  W-sitting actually encourages their bones to stay in an internally rotated position.

One of the most frequent lines out of my mouth is  “fix your feet.”  In fact, when I was home last year I watched my nephew casually come into the living room and sit in w-sitting while playing with his toys.  I quickly got onto my favorite soap box and told him it wasn’t a good way to sit.  Its amazing how much kids listen and pick up because I walked into the room later that week to hear him telling my brother (his dad) that Aunt Stacy said not to sit like that (my brother was sitting on his knees).  In fact, just yesterday I got a picture from my dad (his pop-pop) in my email inbox titled ‘Am I sitting correctly?’  The picture was of him sitting ‘criss cross applesauce’ or tailor sitting!  Anyway, I digress.  The key is to be consistent with not only the words that you use, but also with not allowing them to sit like that.  It would be great if you could help with educating your child’s pre-school teacher or day care worker that w-sitting is not a ‘good’ or recommended way of sitting for kids (below are a list of preferred sitting postures).  The more people that are aware of this, the less it will become the sitting posture of choice for our kids!

‘Good’ or Preferred Sitting Postures:

  • Tailor sitting (criss cross applesauce)
  • Ring sitting
  • Side sitting
  • Long sitting
  • Kneeling


  1. Good job. I will pass this along to parents with young children.

    Comment by Colleen Menz — April 21, 2009 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  2. […] create an external rotation moment that maintain a neutral hip alignment.  Going back to ‘Why is W-sitting a Four Letter Word?‘ w-sitting also increases the internal rotation at the hips and encourages weak and […]

    Pingback by Buns of Steel « Starfish Therapies — June 15, 2009 @ 4:02 am | Reply

  3. […] Walmart and Healthtex showing a picture of a child w-sitting.  As I’ve mentioned in ‘Why is W-sitting a Four Letter Word?‘ w-sitting is a posture that when used frequently by children can have adverse effects on […]

    Pingback by Why is w-sitting being promoted in advertising? « Starfish Therapies — August 16, 2009 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  4. […] 6.  Why is W-sitting a Four Letter Word? […]

    Pingback by Top 10 Blog Posts of 2009 « Starfish Therapies — January 4, 2010 @ 10:31 pm | Reply

  5. […] 6.  Why is W-Sitting a Four Letter Word? […]

    Pingback by Top 10 Blog Posts of 2010 « Starfish Therapies — January 3, 2011 @ 2:13 am | Reply

  6. […] 2.  Why is W-Sitting a Four Letter Word? […]

    Pingback by Top 10 Blog Posts of 2011 « Starfish Therapies — December 31, 2011 @ 4:16 am | Reply

  7. […] Copyright April 2009, Reprinted with permission of the author as it appeared on the Starfish Therapies Blog […]

    Pingback by Guest Blog: Why is W-sitting a Four Letter Word? — January 5, 2012 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  8. My name is Steve. I have been sitting w-style for 36 years continuously as much as I can because it is so comfortable. I cannot sit any other way without pain. I love w-sitting! I think it is the most awesome way to sit. I don’t know why anyone says it’s bad to sit this way because it has never done anything bad to my body. It is extremely relaxing to w-sit. Plus I like how it makes me stable and helps me stay balanced when I’m sitting. I cannot imagine sitting any other way but w-sitting. I am so glad I started w-sitting when I was a child or I would never have known the joy of w-sitting to this day. I am 36 years old and not very flexable at all but I can w-sit at any time for super long periods of time with no discomfort.

    Comment by Stephen Dobbins — May 10, 2012 @ 9:16 am | Reply

    • U do relize if u have pain in any other sittin position u have bad hips and knees u need to go see a doctor

      Comment by Dr. Wittensburg — February 6, 2013 @ 12:52 am | Reply

      • Can you w-sit without causing yourself pin and discomfort? Maybe you have hip problems?

        There’s so much empirical evidence here and suddenly no proper studies that I can find anywhere.

        There has however been loads of research done as to the harm caused to a toddler if all you tell them is to “fix your legs” every 10 seconds instead of dynamic play with them.

        Comment by MrCoconutCurry — December 14, 2015 @ 7:56 am

  9. Steve I don’t believe you. My cousin sat like that when she was growing up all the time and she walks like she has a stick up her ass and has had hip issues and she is in her 20’s. And you probably can’t sit any other way bc that’s what you grew up sitting like so of course it’s the most comfortable

    Comment by Brianne — September 16, 2012 @ 2:57 pm | Reply

  10. […] 2.  Why is W-Sitting a 4 Letter Word? […]

    Pingback by Top Ten Blog Posts of 2012 « Starfish Therapies — December 31, 2012 @ 7:01 am | Reply

  11. The link to “What’s wrong with w-sitting” is linked to a school calendar. Just wondering if you still had access to that article. I am always looking for good articles for my kids parents. They seem to like to hear explanations from other people as well 🙂

    Comment by Stacy — January 15, 2013 @ 1:40 am | Reply

    • I will have to look to see if I printed it out. It looks like they removed it from their website. I’ll put it on my list of things to do!

      Comment by Starfish Therapies — January 15, 2013 @ 4:19 am | Reply

  12. Great article! Thanks for sharing! I found articel “What’s wrong with w-sitting” here is a link:

    Comment by Tiffany — February 9, 2013 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  13. […] 2.  Why is W-Sitting a Four Letter Word? […]

    Pingback by 2013 Recap and Top Ten Posts | Starfish Therapies — January 1, 2014 @ 5:18 pm | Reply

  14. Great post! I also tell the kids I work with not to sit like that. A lot of children with sensory integration difficulties, especially children hypersensitive to vestibular stimuli prefer to sit like this as it, what Steve said, gives them a good balance and relaxes them. Once they sit in the W position, they increase the surface they are sitting on and hence feel more stable which brings the feeling of security which leads to the feeling of relaxation.

    Comment by Sensory Hub — June 2, 2014 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

  15. here is a new intervention for w-sitting from Surestep: Criss-Crossers. They provide an auditory cue to fix your feet to help remind kids and parents to help stop w-sitting.

    Comment by Anne Pare — February 21, 2015 @ 10:58 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: