Are you sitting down? Because someone invented a wearable chair.

I think we can all agree: Standing up for long periods of time is just ... it's really hard.


The struggle is real. GIF from "Arrested Development."


No one knows this struggle better than a surgeon.

It takes a lot of skill to keep your razor-sharp focus and stay on your feet for hours at a time while someone's life is on the line beneath your scalpel.


That's why one company invented the world's first wearable ... chair?

Yes, you read that right: wearable chair. Sure it sounds ridiculous, but it's actually pretty simple — and pretty cool.

The wearable chair, called the Archelis (a rough phonetic translation of "walkable chair" from Japanese), supports key pressure points on the legs to ease the wearer's fatigue, re-creating the sensation of sitting while maintaining an upright position. It was designed through a collaboration between the Japanese company Nitto and Chiba University’s Frontier Medical Engineering Center.

Basically, it's a pair of high-tech leg braces that hold your butt (and thighs and ankles) while you're standing.


GIF from Archelis/Archelis/YouTube.

Just a few years back, a Swiss company called Noonee introduced a similar creation called the Chairless Chair.

Wired described this hydraulic-powered titanium frame as, "a really bad-ass wearable or an especially lame exoskeleton."

The company's CEO, Keith Gunura, said that the device can give the body "microbreaks" of three to 10 seconds to relieve the stress of standing and compared the sensation to sitting on a barstool. It could also come in handy in workspaces where there's just not enough room to store chairs.

GIF from Noonee/YouTube.

While the concept of a wearable chair was originally designed to aid surgeons during seemingly-endless shifts, the design has plenty of potential outside the hospital.

Aside from the general exhaustion of standing all day, musculoskeletal disorders caused by physical strain, repetitive movements, and poor posture factor into 33% of workplace injuries and illnesses.

And, of course, surgeons aren't the only ones who face this kind of risk. A wearable chair could go a long way to ease the strain on all the people who work in restaurants, retail, and factory production lines and stay on their feet for hours at a time.


GIF from "(You Drive Me) Crazy."

You know who else could benefit from a wearable chair? Anyone who spends their day sitting at a desk.

It's easy to understand the pain of someone who's forced to stand all day. But it turns out that excessive sitting isn't good for us either.

Aside from the general mind-numbing-ness of staring at Excel spreadsheets all day, the passive lifestyle of a desk job could lead to a whole host of ailments, one of the biggest being hunched posture — which can lead to migraines, back pain, breathing problems, and much more.

This is all assuming, of course, that the boredom doesn't kill you first.

Though not necessarily meant for all-day sitters, the Archelis does help the user maintain ideal posture and allows for easy switching between sitting and standing. Something like that could definitely come in handy for those dreary desk-bound days.

GIF from "The Incredibles."

At the end of the day, no one should have to spend six to eight straight hours sitting or standing.

Moderation is a good thing. In a perfect world, we'd find a way to restructure the entire labor system so that productivity and physical strain weren't so intertwined, regardless of whether you're on your feet or in a chair.

But until that happens, at least we have cool tech like the Archelis to help us hit that Goldilocks sweet spot between sitting and standing. It's not perfect, but it's a start.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.