The TikTok Chair Challenge has left the internet confounded but do we finally have an answer as to why men find it much harder to do?

We all love a good meme or a viral challenge that’s surfaced on the internet, it’s about the only thing that humanity can agree on in this day and age.

Whether it be Baby Yoda memes from The Mandalorian or the Ice Bucket Challenge from a few years ago, there’s always something that gets people talking.

The latest challenge to go viral pits men and women against each other and proves once again that us men are inferior.

We are, of course, talking about the TikTok Chair Challenge that has taken the internet by storm in recent weeks. 

The example above is from Brooke and Jubal on YouTube


What is the TikTok chair challenge and how to do it?

To do it right, the TikTok Chair Challenge requires both a male and female participant, although you can do it on your own easily enough.

The process to give it a try is simple enough.

Stand by a wall and have a chair with you. Place one foot against the wall and your other foot goes directly behind. Then move your front foot behind the back foot before bringing them both together.

Then place your head against the wall at a 90-degree angle to the floor then pull the chair under you and then up to your chest and simply stand up.

It all sounds fairly straightforward until you discover that women are able to do it much more easily than men.

Where did the challenge come from?

While the origins of internet challenges are often shrouded in mystery, the Chair Challenge actually dates back decades.

Despite the social media site TikTok giving a new lease of life to the challenge, there are examples on YouTube of people attempting the challenge from as far back as 2012, seven years ago.

However, the oldest example we know of is from 1971 in the US TV series All in the Family, specifically, the episode Judging Books by Covers which first aired way back on February 9th, 1971.

Why can’t men do the Chair Challenge?

Since the reemergence of the Chair Challenge, many of those who have attempted it have questioned why men struggle to lift the chair while women appear to do it with ease. 

There have been a number of theories circulating since the trend emerged, relating to everything from centre of gravity to the length of men’s arms and legs compared to women’s.

The most commonly touted theory is that women have a lower centre of gravity and so find it easier to complete the challenge.

However, according to scientist Professor Brian Ford of Cambridge University, who spoke to The Sun recently, this is not the case.

“It is true that women have a lower centre of gravity than men, by several centimetres,” Professor Ford said.

“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.”

According to Professor Ford, it is this that gives women the advantage as men struggle to lift themselves from this precarious position. 

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