Sitting in the middle seat sets you up for success later in life

Sitting in the middle seat has long been considered as pulling the short straw; siblings and family members pin you in on both sides, you’re robbed of a window seat and there’s limited leg room.

However, new research conducted by Skoda shows being a middle seat child may well set you up for success in later life, particularly in business.

The study of over 1,000 families with two or more siblings shows that 90% of people in ’director’ level positions sat in the middle, while nearly three quarters (72%) of business owners and over three fifths (62%) of senior managers also found themselves between brothers and sisters when on the road.

These developments may well be to do with the personality traits that middle seat kids develop. Skoda’s research shows that 44% of them are now described as easygoing, while reasonable (28%), patient (25%), level-headed (21%) and adaptable (21%) also score highly. Four fifths (80%) of middle seat kids attribute their work-life success to their childhood car position.

Consultant child psychologist and mother to three children, Laverne Antrobus, said: “This research by Skoda into family car journeys is really interesting; cars are a unique environment and a lot can be revealed when everyone is sitting together in a confined space.

“It’s fascinating to see how a seating position in the back of the car, often over many years, can directly reflect or influence our personalities. Whether middle seat children were made to sit there or not they seem to develop positive traits which prove to be of real value to them as adults, and often, interestingly, in their careers.”

Although avoiding the least popular seating position was the source of arguments for 43% of families, over two-thirds (66%) of middle seat children actually enjoyed their lot. Moreover, one in 10 respondents remains in their allocated position to this day during family road trips.

Alasdair Stewart, head of brand at Skoda UK, said: “As thousands of families take to the roads this bank holiday weekend, we were keen to shine a spotlight on the millions of family interactions that happen in the Skoda Octavia every day across the UK. It’s been fascinating to see how in-car dynamics such as seating positions can impact on us as people.”


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