Right now, you need to approach a man in your life. And ask him to pick up a chair.



We’re not normally into ‘challenges’.

We’re all very busy and important and don’t have time to watch some funny little viral video BUT HOLY NO HAVE YOU SEEN THE CHAIR CHALLENGE HOW DID IT TAKE HUMANKIND SO LONG TO DISCOVER MEN CAN’T PICK UP CHAIRS AT A 90 DEGREE ANGLE.


Allow me to explain.

As with all challenges, we have no idea exactly where it started, but we presume deep inside TikTok.


Watch as children try to teach us what TikTok is. Post continues below. 

You stand facing a wall, with a chair or stool within reach.

Ensure you're standing about two foot-lengths (a 14-year-old made me measure it out precisely and I trust her implicitly) from the wall, and then lean forward, at a 90 degree angle.

Exactly like this. Image via Brooke and Jubal/Youtube.
Exactly like this. Image via Brooke and Jubal/Youtube.

Now, you have to try and lift the chair up to your chest. And then stand up.

That's it.

But men can't do it and why not. 

Here's an example:

At first, I thought it was one of those challenges just designed to make all people look like idiots. But then we made a bunch of men/boys try it. And they genuinely couldn't.






And women do it with ease. 


Is it our body's way of saying: "Sorry about childbirth... we admit, in retrospect, that making you do that isn't fair, but you'll find that if you bend forward you can actually lift up a chair...?"

Is this evolution throwing us an absurdly pointless bone?

Or is it the universe's way of making up for us living as the subjugated sex for centuries? Giving us a trick whereby we can make men look a bit silly?

All of the above... but surely there's also a scientific explanation.

Listen to This Glorious Mess, where Andrew Daddo gets grilled by his teenage daughter. Post continues below. 


Initially, my theories were as follows:

  • Men have tighter hamstrings (made that up), and the movement requires a level of flexibility
  • Women have better core strength (made that up)
  • Men generally have longer torsos and women generally have longer legs (I think I made that up), so men have more work to do when lifting the chair

But alas, according to a (poor) scientist named Jeremy Johnson who has been dragged into this whole mess, it's because, "the centre of mass for most girls is lower to the hips, while the centre of mass in boys is much higher. Therefore for most girls, the centre of mass while bent over the chair is above their feet, while the centre of mass for boys is above the chair."

Professor Brian Ford from Cambridge University, however, does not agree.

He told The Sun it's all about the feet.

Given that men on average have bigger feet than women, a few steps back is significantly further.

"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," he said.

That's all very well and good, professors.

But riddle me this.

I'm a woman. With small feet. And a low centre of gravity.

And I still can't do the bloody chair challenge.

Point is, whatever you have planned for the immediate future. Cancel it.

Instead, find a man. Give him a chair. And you'll be entertained for a good three to four minutes.

Have you tried the chair challenge? Let us know in the comments below.