Standing room


Sir, – I sympathise with Pádraig MacConmara regarding his comments about people who stand on buses, apparently blocking the gangway and the area for buggies and wheelchairs (“Time for a little bus etiquette”, January 15th).

While trying never to block gangways, I often deliberately stand on buses and other public transport, even when seats are available. This is because years of back trouble have made sitting very painful for me and I normally find standing more comfortable.

Indeed in my office I use a “standing desk” whereby I can alternate between sitting and standing. Doctors now warn against prolonged sitting, with some medics even regarding sitting as the “new smoking”. Yet every time I check in for a medical appointment the receptionist always says, “Please take a seat, sir”. Sitting is the default position, even when I really want to stand. But I am always conscious of blocking gangways on buses and trains. – Yours, etc,