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When budget airline Ryan Air proposed selling standing-room seats on their airplanes to allow them to cram in more passengers, they were widely ridiculed. The idea was to make them the cheapest seats on board. But it’s been a week since I got back from Johannesburg and my ass still hasn’t fully recovered from the trauma of those long flights. In her superb authoritative book on the chair, UC Berkeley architecture prof Galen Cranz argues for the benefits of a seating position that is not unlike the standing planks you’re meant to strap yourself to on Ryan Air flights. The “perch position”, half way between standing and sitting, balances our musculature between front and back and is meant to be the optimal posture (if you have to choose only one). Perhaps other airlines should consider installing some of those upright chairs, but instead of putting them in the back they should put them up front in first class. I could almost see myself paying a premium to “sit” in one.