On May 29, 2022, a world record was broken. That day, Rut Larsson, a 103-year-old Swedish woman, becomes the oldest person in the world to perform a parachute jump. If she managed to accomplish this feat without a hitch, is the practice safe for the body? This is the question that arises le magazine Discover.
First of all, you should know that the average parachute jump is made from an altitude of 4,000 meters, and that in the first phase of free fall, a speed of nearly 180 kilometers per hour is reached. According United States Parachuting Association (USPA)about 500,000 people make their first flight each year.
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Perception of time
The average duration of a jump is five minutes. But maybe you won’t feel it that way, because the brain loses all sense of time during the fall. According to a study published in 2007 by Leah Campbell and Richard Bryant in the journal Behavior Research and Therapy, the more people apprehend the experience, the longer they think the jump is. On the contrary, those who feel more excitement than fear have the impression that the duration of the fall is shorter.
The hormones secreted by your body are also impacted. In a 2019 study published in the journal Biological Psychologya group of researchers notes that testosterone levels as well as cortisol levels increase during a parachute jump, especially in people seeking thrills.
On the other hand, when you jump several kilometers above the ground, you definitely notice a change in pressure. According to research published in 2014 in the Current Sports Medicine Reports, the body may find it difficult to adapt to these massive fluctuations. This can result in pain, dizziness, headaches and nausea.
Short of breath
The plane ride to the jump can also have an impact. Discover magazine points out that flying can make your ears ring and lose your balance in some cases, which can cause nausea. However, during the fall, you probably won’t feel like your stomach is turning like you do when bungee jumping. According to the USPA, this is because you fall so quickly through the air that it acts as a kind of shock absorber.
You might also be breathless, but don’t worry, you won’t run out of oxygen at these heights. This is only the consequence of the adrenaline rush in the body.
Finally, if you are easily prone to motion sickness, Discover advises you to eat a healthy breakfast before you take off, and to stay well hydrated – and therefore not to drink alcohol. You are ready for your first flight.
Source: Slate.fr by www.slate.fr.
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