It’s long been said that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. And while this might not be strictly true, it would appear the sexes have wildly different abilities when erm, picking up chairs.
An interesting new TikTok challenge – known as the ‘chair challenge’ – has left many people baffled by how much better women appear to be at standing up while simultaneously picking up a chair.
The division in this seemingly simple challenge is illustrated via a video uploaded by fiancés Krystyna Sorrentino, 32, and Devin, 29, who tried out the ‘chair challenge’ after becoming bored on November 25.
You can check out Krystyna and Devin’s efforts for yourself below:
The ‘chair challenge’ involves a person walking flush up against a wall before stepping three feet backwards, before bending over 90° at the waist and placing their head against the wall. The challenger then places a chair beneath themselves before attempting to stand up while holding said chair.
As demonstrated in their vid, Krystyna made the challenge look completely effortless; standing up fully on the first attempt with obvious ease.
However, when it came to Devin’s turn, things went far less swimmingly. After bending to pick up the chair, Devin could be seen visibly struggling to stand up straight; wobbling before giving up completely.
We saw this challenge on TikTok randomly when we were just hanging out late one night trying to figure out how to use the app, so we decided to try it. We woke up the next morning with one million views!
When you follow the instructions and just do it without thinking too hard about it, he couldn’t do it. However when he sat and concentrated about it, he could do it.
Now, you may just think this was just a bit of a fluke. However, many other heterosexual couples have since given it a go, and an intriguing pattern has emerged.
While women were able to complete the challenge without too much hassle, their male counterparts had to give it a bit more concentration.
This odd disparity has led to plenty of puzzlement, as well as a fair helping of heated banter, and experts have put forward various reasons.
Writing on teaching resource blog Educational Innovations, scientist Jeremy Johnson claimed men’s centre of gravity was to blame:
Results of this challenge may vary by gender. Interestingly enough, many girls can successfully complete this challenge, while most boys cannot.
Why? Again, it’s all about the center of mass. The center of mass for most girls is lower to the hips, while the center of mass in boys is much higher. Therefore, for most girls, the center of mass while bent over the chair is above their feet, while the center of mass for most boys is above the chair. [sic]
Meanwhile, Cambridge University’s Professor Brian Ford told The Sun the disparity is more due to men having generally larger feet than women:
It is true that women have a lower centre of gravity than men, by several centimetres. But that has no bearing on this crafty little trick.
Men have longer feet than women. Two paces back for a man would be some 60cm, for a woman it’s more like 50cm. So to begin with, the man is forced further away from the wall.
The man’s larger feet mean he is farther away from the wall than the woman, and is thus leaning forward. The woman’s legs are closer to the wall, and are thus leaning back.
Interesting stuff. And, of course, if you happen to be one of the rare blokes who can rock this challenge like a pro, then let us know!
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.