Early on this year I had a mum in clinic who was very afraid of what W sitting would do to her little girl, from all she had read in the media (all types of media) however she was also from a scientific background and asked me what the research was (she was looking at back/hip pain and wanted to know prognosis).
I have been looking through the research and have found a little bit but I was hoping that some of you, you wonderful experienced therapists all over the world, may know of more.
I am looking at the research as this mum prompted me to check my facts and my biases (the kids I see in clinic are NOT the typical classroom) and I’m sick of the N1 statements “my child w sat and they are fine v mine w sat and now XYZ is terrible”
This is in relation to neurotypical kids not Connective Tissue Disorders like EDS, Marfans (note Hypermobility itself is not a connective tissue disorder, it can be a sign of one, but isn’t a disorder/diagnosis itself) CP, Down syndrome etc
So if you have research/know of research (reviews, clinical trials etc) that supports
- causative of pain in future (hip, knee, back etc)
-bilateral coordination issues
-fine motor issues
-gait concerns such as in toeing
Here is what I have found so far:
1.W-sitting does not effect or change the shape of the hip bone. (Rerucha et al 2017, Frye 2017, Lincoln 2003, Staheli 2001)
2.W-sitting does not cause developmental hip dysplasia (DDH) (Goldstein et al 2019)
3…W-sitting does not appear to cause degenerative joint disease or arthritis (Rerucha et al 2017, Lincoln 2003, Staheli 2001, Ryan 2001)
4.W-sitting does not appear to cause in-toeing (Sielatycki et al 2016, Altinel et al 2007)
I have read the article in relation to flat feet - it was suggesting an association not causation…most likely the children with flat feet also have increased hip internal rotation and / or anteversion. (They are hypermobile…)
Which has me wondering,
A) is W sitting really the problem or is it just a sign for us to screen further (ie there will be some kids with a weak core but I wonder if just strengthening the core without prompting position change, would that result in the child adopting a different sitting posture… and save a lot of nagging/fear?)
B) sitting all day in any position is not good for any child or adult
Thank you in advance for your time!