Have a look at the following picture Children seated on the floor, resting on their heels

Is there a word for the sitting position of the boy with recorder ?

  • Did you mean "the boy with the recorder", or "the boy with the violin"? The former seems to be kneeling.
    – WS2
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 11:46

3 Answers 3


Here's a picture that might help you, taken from a guide for grade 3 teachers. It sounds like it's called Heel sitting.sitting positions

There's also Kneeling as noted by @Roddy of the frozen peas, but kneeling does not necessarily mean that your buttock is resting on your heel though. Google kneeling Mary for some examples. Kneeling just means being down on one's knee, whether you're sitting on your heel or your upper legs are straight as in this example.

enter image description here

And if you want to be very pedantic you could use (never heard of it before, but it's fun to know)


From WP

To sit seiza-style, one must first be kneeling on the floor, folding one's legs underneath one's thighs, while resting the buttocks on the heels.

enter image description here

To finish I invite you to consult the Ngram of Heel-Sitting, Heel sitting, Seiza and sitting on his knee. Sitting on his knee is very popular, so it seems Seiza if you're looking for one word. I did not put kneeling, as it's impossible to know if it used for a sitting or semi standing position. enter image description here

  • 13
    Honestly if you told me that "Billy is the one over there, heel sitting," I would have no idea what you were talking about. In practice, I've only ever heard this position referred to as "kneeling" or (in the US) "sitting on one's knees." Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 12:06
  • There is one more type of sitting that's called "W sitting"
    – zany
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 12:10
  • 4
    This is a great answer - thorough, and with lots of evidence. personally, like @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas, I've never encountered the phrase "heel sitting" before. This might mean that even though it's correct, it's not a good choice. Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 12:25
  • 2
    I've never heard any of those "sitting positions" used.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 2:38
  • 1
    I have seen variations of "sitting on his heels" written a few times, but have always pictured it as a flat-footed squat, by linguistic similarity with "sitting on your ass (your ass is on the floor), sitting on your knees (your knees are on the floor), etc - with "on" indicating the bodypart against the floor, not against your ass. This may be uncommon, or US-Eng? Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 5:20

Sitting Kneeling

...where the thighs are near horizontal and the buttocks sit on the heels - for example as in Seiza and Vajrasana (yoga).

Some health experts warn:

While sitting on the ankles - puts pressure on the knee joints. This may be in the form of a kneeling to standing jump challenge. Students often sit in this position.


Feet to fanny.

Started early in the 20th Century in 1926, The Portland Children's Theatre (Portland, Maine USA) would perform children's stories live for the public in schools, auditoriums, and outdoor venues such as playgrounds and parks.

Proper theatre etiquette was taught in an introduction to the event by "Koko, the clown" who would interact with the audience.

When presenting out-of-doors, Koko would also try to get everyone to sit as close to the stage as possible. The position that was encouraged for the children (pictured above) was "feet to fanny." This was turned into a chant by the volunteer ushers as, "Feet to fanny makes a row." Soon, with some clapping for emphasis, the audience was condensed to a size we could project our voices to cover.

  • 9
    Not to be used outside of the US though. Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 20:52
  • 4
    i've never even heard this in the US. wouldn't recommend.
    – user428517
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 23:33

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