goo Ranking recently took a look at what makes people feel uncomfortable on a train.


Between the 23rd and 26th of March 2011 1,070 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-base questionnaire. 53.4% of the sample were female, 10.2% in their teens, 13.1% in their twenties, 24.7% in their thirties, 23.7% in their forties, 13.3% in their fifties, and 15.0% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

I’d bet that most of my readers would feel irritated or frustrated rather than uncomfortable by someone stealing their seat, but I suppose feeling awkward is a very Japanese reaction. The two number sixes are similar, I think. Personally, I’ve been embarrassed by number two (especially if it includes drooling, snoring and sleeping on someone’s shoulder), number three, and number nine.

Ranking result

Q: What makes you feel uncomfortable on a train? (Sample size=1,070)

Rank   Score
1 When about to take an empty seat someone darts in ahead of me 100
2 Suddenly jolting myself awake while dozing 85.4
3 After sprinting into the train just before the doors close the guard makes an announcement about it being dangerous 77.5
4 After almost sleeping past my stop, getting up to exit but the doors close in front of me 70.8
5 Meeting up with someone I don’t really get on with too well 69.9
6= Giving up my seat for someone to sit, but they refuse 62.5
6= Getting on a packed train with large luggage 62.5
8 My stomach rumbling 59.8
9 Getting squashed by the closing doors on boarding 55.1
10 Being in a table seat of four but the other three are friends 52.1


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