Chairs accompany us in our everyday life. I have recently calculated the average amount of time I spend in a chair on a working day, and was astounded to find out that it was nothing less than thirteen hours. I am sure that most of you that lead a sedentary lifestyle with office jobs have more or less the same average. It does seem absurd that this piece of furniture is the most prevalent constant in our daily routine.
When did this happen? How did the chair find its way into our lives?
The first chair was invented in Ancient Egypt and was later perfected by Ancient Greeks. In early cultures most people sat on logs or stools, whereas chairs with seat, four legs and a back were reserved for privileged members of the society. The word chair was derived from Latin cathedra ”seat“i.e. from Ancient Greek kathedra (chair of a teacher, throne). In modern languages the word “cathedra“ has been preserved to designate a seat of a bishop or an official chair of a professor. Hence the word cathedral which means a church into which a bishop’s official cathedra is installed.
The word chair in today’s English does not only denote a piece of furniture that is indispensable object in our daily life; it is also used figuratively in expressions: the first chair – second chair, chairman (chairperson) etc.
What would our lives without chairs be like?
I know I would be lost, if someone was to take my armchair away. As a result, I would probably develop some abdominal and back muscles, but I know that I would not be able to spend as much time on my computer. If it weren’t for chairs, I would probably sit on meadows with my back leaned against a tree trunk and smell the freshness of a forest instead of smelly people in my office.
Well, it may not be such a bad idea after all. 😉
The above photo shows two marvelous chairs I used to sit pretty on my holidays.
The ”Sitting Pretty“ post is dedicated to Sophia of Sonel’s corner. A while ago she encouraged me to look at furniture differently ;).
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