You see it all the time. Kids like to sit with their feet splayed out behind their

bottoms. When therapists and sports coaches see this sitting position, they react as

though someone just scratched their fingers down a chalkboard. Why?

The pre-­school years are a time of rapid bone and muscle growth. While the

legs of young children may be flexible, the W Sitting position stretches the

tendons that wrap around the knees. This stretching causes these muscles and

tendons to become lax, which disrupts the integrity of the knee joint. There is less

support and protection for the knee. This can cause trouble later in life,

especially as children grow and begin engaging in rigorous sporting activities.

While protecting the knee is a stand-­‐alone reason to avoid Sitting there is

another important reason why proper sitting is important. When your child sits in

healthy positions, the trunk muscles are activated to help maintain balance and sit in an upright position. That doesn happen when W sitting. As a result, the core muscles dont get the workout they need. When kids get to school, the ability to sit up and pay attention in class is compromised.

How should your preschooler sit?

Crossed legs (Taylor sitting position) (pic)

Long sitting position (pic)

Side sitting position (pic)

When children sit in these positions to play games, they have to reach side to side.

Crossing the midline of the body is important not only for trunk strengthening but

helping to establish hand dominance! When the child is comfortable with reaching

across the body, each hand starts to specialize.

What can you do if your child -­sits? Here strategies to help your child get

comfortable in healthy sitting positions?

1. Help strengthen core muscles with weight bearing activities such as wheel-­‐

barrow walking, crab and bear walking.

2. When playing games or looking at picture books, encourage lying on tummy

3. Rolling and climbing activities

If your child complains that these sitting positions hurt or they are unable to

actually get into these positions, talk to your pediatrician.