Monday, January 11, 2016

If you see you kid sitting like this, stop it! The reason? I had no idea.


As children become older they learn many things: as babies as they first crawl and sit up, later to walk and then run. In the babies first years, they spend a lot of time on the ground and sitting is one of the first skills that they train their muscles with, because for such a small child sitting is a challenge long before walking.
But doctors at the Penfield Children'S Center in the United States have discovered that babies can very quickly adopt an incorrect posture. There is actually an art to sitting in the so-called "W"-position that children like so much, but it is damaging! The little ones sit in such a way that their toes a pointing away from their bodies and their legs form a "W" shape.
Youtube/Penfield Children
Scientists at the University of Louisville in the USA have often observed this sitting position in children who suffer with Cerebral Palsy. Children often suffer from badly formed or underdeveloped muscles with this disease and sit in this position because it requires very little strength.
For healthy children however, this can be very damaging because it prevents them from training their muscles from a young age and doesn't look after them. This position is not only questionable because the children's muscles don't get trained, but also because the joints and tendons are used in such a manner that can lead to back and joint problems in adulthood. 
Youtube/Penfield Children
Since children who sit in the W position can only turn their upper body with difficulty, and because the knees and hips are distorted, they shouldn't sit in this position for very long. Particularly problematic is the thighs, heel tendon and central buttocks muscles, which splay the hip out to the side, because they would either be stretched too far or twisted for too long. 

Thus the tendons shorten slightly and prolonged sitting in this position can affect the stability of the muscular system.
Youtube/Penfield Children
Luckily there are many other sitting positions that can easily be taught to children: cross-legged, both legs straight out in front, or both legs bent to one side. The important thing is that the child can still turn in all directions, allowing the appropriate muscles to be called upon. This is particularly important for the very young.
Youtube/Penfield Children
Therefore one shouldn't allow sitting in the W position to become habit and should always encourage the child to change it's sitting position.
Youtube/Penfield Children

SHARE this important information with everyone that you know because sometimes parents (or even other adults) don't even realise how unhealthy this is.