Claude's Blog Game of Bus Seats: You Sit or You Die

Game of Bus Seats: You Sit or You Die

Not your usual 'Game of Thrones'.

Nowadays, the world is lazier than ever. Mainly due to the advancements in technology. But what’s concerning is that many people find it hard to even stand on their feet while taking the bus. Therefore, finding bus seats as soon as you get on a public transportation vehicle is a game everyone plays. And I’m not talking only about old people here.

A Glimpse into the Savage World of Bus Seats Hunting

A couple of days ago, I was on my way home from the gym. I took the bus. It was crowded and most of the seats were occupied by elderly people, as usual. But I couldn’t get my eyes of one thing – more specifically one person.

It was a girl at about 25 years of age. She climbed on the bus just a station after I got in. Nothing wrong with her. Of course, besides the fact that she was looking all over the place trying to find an open seat. Unfortunately, it was rush hour and everyone was coming back from work, so she had to stay on her feet.

The hunt begins…

The girl grabbed her phone along with her earphones and minded her own business. But, boy, if she wasn’t raising her head every 5 seconds to surveil all the sitting people on the bus, call me a liar.

Usually, this kind of people really annoy me. Is it so hard to stand up? Is it such a burden that you need to hunt for vacant bus seats? If the chairs had some sort of massage function, I wouldn’t say anything. We all need one after a day of work, don’t we?

However, this girl didn’t irritate me. And not because her looks were astonishing. Instead, she turned to be utterly amusing. That is because of what happened two stations further. 

A woman sitting right next to her had got up from her seat just before the bus opened its doors. Seconds after, while our girl was getting ready to collect her greatly awaited reward, she unexpectedly hesitated. Why? A bunch of older women got on the bus one after another. Imagine that our young female was sitting and getting up each time one of the old women got past her seat. Kind of impressive – given her great amount of common sense shown through her repetitive gesture -, but very funny at the same time.

After all the hard work put in, she ended up giving her seat to one of the old ladies. So, it seems that elders have an advantage in the “Game of Seats”. But should they?

Not offering your seat to older people makes them healthier

Game of Bus Seats
Photo: Independent / Getty

The habit of providing our seats to elders is considered, in today’s society, a sign of good manners. Although I tend to abide by the chivalrous practices, an opinion of an Oxford professor changed my mind upon this matter.

“We need to be encouraging activity as we age — not telling people to put their feet up. Don’t get a stairlift for your ageing parents, put in a second banister. And think twice before giving up your seat on the bus or train to an older person. Standing up is great exercise for them,”

Sir Muir Gray – which is also a clinical adviser for Public Health England -, to
The Sun.

He is right. Most people barely move when they are old. They find all kinds of excuses to do as few activities as possible because they need to rest after a life of hard work. Shortly said, the digits in their age tricked them. And so, they missed the fact that it was their lack of physical activity which had actually made them unable to do certain things, not their aging.

If you don’t trust me, trust science

Health experts claimed – in The British Medical Journal -, that older people “can increase their fitness level to that of an average person a decade younger by regular exercise.”

The experts even gave an example of activities that proved to have results on people’s health.

“Gyms, walking groups, gardening, cooking clubs, and volunteering have all been shown to improve the health and wellbeing of people at all ages with long term conditions.”

You sit or you stand. Your choice. That’s the “Game of Bus Seats”.

*DISCLAIMER: Although I rarely sit down on the bus, I always offer my seat to old people which are visibly struggling to stay on their feet or to ones who look seriously ill. Don’t put their life in danger because even a single sudden brake could harm them.

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