Starfish Therapies

August 16, 2009

Why is w-sitting being promoted in advertising?


Imagine my surprise as I’m flipping through my August 24, 2009 issue of People magazine and I see an ad for 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 their gross motor development as well as their posture and hip development.

Just to warn you I’m about to get on my soap box and many of you may think I am being overly dramatic but I am trying to make a point.

I find it appalling that two well known companies would find it okay to show a photo of a child doing something that is not only not beneficial to their development but possibly detrimental.  This may not be something that is well publicized but I am hoping to make it more well known that this is not a good position for children to be utilizing on a regular basis.  How would you feel if you were to see ads with pictures of children riding bikes without helmets, or riding in cars without car seats.  Like I said, I may be overly dramatic but at one time these were common practices and through intervention by the public, and media cooperation these became the norm rather than the rare.  No one thinks twice about putting a helmet on their child even to ride a tricycle and there are all sorts of laws about weight, height and age that you must comply with before you even think about putting your child in the car without a car seat.  I remember when seatbelts weren’t even mandatory.  So, I’m just putting forth that without consistency from parents and professionals out there people will not realize that w-sitting is a really poor choice for kids positioning and an even poorer choice for the media to be utilizing in an ad campaign for two established companies.

Ok, now that I’ve stepped off my soapbox, does anyone else have thoughts on this?



  1. Wow Stace. I had no idea about this and since I work with kids it’s a great thing to know. I just got down on the floor to see how this position feels and I couldn’t even do it, so I can imagine how bad it can be for young children. Thanks for the post. 🙂


    Comment by Tim Bowen — August 18, 2009 @ 5:57 am | Reply

  2. Thanks Stacey for the post! The more people talk about these concerns, the more it becomes mainstreamed into society. This blog helps in bringing awareness to this particular issue. Eventually, it will become public knowledge.


    Comment by Carolyn — August 19, 2009 @ 11:57 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks Stacey, a good reminder!


    Comment by Mia Arne — August 25, 2009 @ 6:17 am | Reply

  4. I am just grateful that my child is able to sit upright. If she is most comfortable and stable in the “w” position, then so be it. As far as getting yourself all worked up and upset about a wal-mart ad? Well, I think you need to get out more and stop stressing yourself out so much over silly little things like an advertisment for clothing. My daughter NEVER saw any ad that made her want to sit that way, and yet it is her prefered method for sitting upright. I don’t think MORE children will choose to sit that way because of a wal mart ad. If kids are going to sit in the “W” position, they are going to do it whethre it is in an advewrtisment or not. JMHO.

    Comment by momasita — September 27, 2009 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

  5. “Just to warn you I’m about to get on my soap box and many of you may think I am being overly dramatic but I am trying to make a point.”

    oh yeah… you should listen to yourself every once in a while. If YOU think you are being overly dramatic about something that isn’t really important, then you probably are…

    Comment by momasita — September 27, 2009 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

  6. All throughout my childhood. It was not until I was in high school that I hear it was “not beneficial” to a child’s health to sit this way. I firmly believe that I sat this way due to my hip dysplasia. Today I am able to sit in a variety of positions, but I still find the w-position more comfortable for certain activities.

    As for my motor skills, they are great. I’m an excellent artist who uses my motor skills regularly. That is not to say that you are not correct, but I don’t think that every person’s body is built the same. If a parent notices their child favoring one position over the other then they should leave it up to a doctor to decide whether there is something wrong. If nothing is up with it, let it be.

    Comment by queenfushi — December 2, 2009 @ 10:55 pm | Reply

    • My cousin has hip problems from sitting like that as a child. About the doctor..l that is assuming doctors actually know what they are doing. I have had some pretty ridiculous doctors who Dont help or know.

      Comment by Brianne — September 16, 2012 @ 3:08 pm | Reply

  7. As is mentioned but not bolded, w-sitting “CAN” effect you. However, there are many cases of people who are just fine and have had no adverse reactions. If anything people are blowing this way out of proportions.

    Comment by Bright Shadow — December 16, 2009 @ 12:57 am | Reply

  8. […] 3.  Why is w-sitting Being Promoted in Advertising? […]

    Pingback by Top 10 Blog Posts of 2009 « Starfish Therapies — January 4, 2010 @ 10:32 pm | Reply

  9. Sorry, but there is nothing wrong with w-sitting. Almost all models and singers sit this way all the time.

    Comment by Shannan Green — August 12, 2010 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

    • “Almost all models and singers sit this way all the time.” What a crazy generalization. That’s like saying all singers and models only eat lettuce. Way to research your topic before commenting, lol.

      Comment by Naughty Pearl (@NaughtyPearl) — May 15, 2012 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

  10. I am nearly 20 and i can still w-sit. I have no motor skill issues and no other problems. Some people can simply sit that way, and once a child feels uncomfortable, they wont sit like that.

    Comment by Candace — September 27, 2010 @ 6:54 am | Reply

  11. I agree corp advertising could/should be more enlightened (about many things); I hope you wrote them too. As for W-sitting being all bad – for children who aren’t actually under MD advice for orthopedic problems or other reasons to to avoid it altogether, seems like “moderation” is good. Just make sure your charge doesn’t sit this way habitually or exclusively or for hours on end. (And frankly, should/do toddlers sit any which way for hours on end?) I admire you for speaking up about a strongly held belief; no need to apologize for that.

    Comment by Susan — October 12, 2010 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  12. I think people should remember their manners when commenting… There’s still a person with feelings on the other end… W sitting does not assist with important brain development (unlike crossing legs) it’s a shame more people aren’t aware of this and my MIL wishes she knew about it to assist her 2 dyslexic kids with learning issues… Might have helped 😦

    Comment by Christina — February 6, 2012 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

  13. My cousin grew up in the w position and she has hip problems because of it and walks like she has a stick up her ass. Just because children are comfortable at something or doing it doesn’t mean it is right.

    Comment by Brianne — September 16, 2012 @ 3:05 pm | Reply

  14. My daughter always sitts in w position and she got hyertonia

    Comment by Arooj khan — January 24, 2013 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  15. I sat in the w position till about 10 years of age or so and would like to add to what you’ve written. I can’t comment on some of the possible issues such as tight muscles but there are other issues I have noticed as a result of sitting this way. My w sitting was so extreme that I was able to sit with my lower legs at a 90 degree angle to my thighs, although I didn’t usually sit like this – I just did that to show off! I stopped w sitting eventually because my knees started to lock into position, probably because of a slight dislocation, and I would have to shift onto my knees till the knee clicked into place and I could move freely again which was quite painful. I did have poor muscle tone in my trunk and developed a slouch. I now have hyper-flexible knees and hips (to certain angles only) which enables me to do some yoga positions very easily but gives poor stability in others. I have knee problems too but it is hard to tell how much is genetic as my mother has issues too, but I’m sure they weren’t helped by sitting in this way.

    Comment by Beenz — March 13, 2014 @ 7:33 am | Reply

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