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Want to Experience Zero G? Stay in Bed 132

mrogers writes "New Scientist Space is reporting that the health effects of microgravity can be reproduced by staying in bed. Inclining the bed at an angle of 6 degrees with the head at the lower end produces bone and muscle loss, decreases in cardiovascular activity, and reduced capacity to exercise similar to those produced by prolonged spaceflight. (Valeri Polyakov was not available for comment at the time of going to press.)"
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Want to Experience Zero G? Stay in Bed

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  • The obvious question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oooskar ( 806935 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @11:30AM (#15017831)
    Will you experience an increase in bone and muscle mass if you sleep with your head at the higher end?
  • I did this (Score:3, Interesting)

    by verloren ( 523497 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @12:40PM (#15018466)
    Not voluntarily though - as a child I was diagnosed with Perthes disease [] and hospitalized for a year in an inclined bed - I think the incline was to help the effects of the traction that was also applied. This was done for a year, the last few weeks of which were learning to walk again. The amount of muscle wastage was quite amazing; I was unable to stand at first, partly because I wasn't used to balancing, but mainly because I just couldn't exert that much force. I was lucky though - I went in again for a month a few years later, and one lad had been in for almost 2 years with no end in sight. A shame that recent thinking suggests it doesn't actually help. I guess this doesn't quite qualify me as an astronaut though?
  • "bed rest" = pain (Score:3, Interesting)

    by urbazewski ( 554143 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @01:08PM (#15018719) Homepage Journal
    The similarity of the two groups' results confirms the decades-long practice of using inclined bedrest as a proxy for spaceflight.

    Actually, NASA has been doing "bed-rest studies" on the effectiveness of various exercise regimes for some time now: I remember an ad hanging in the cafeteria when I worked at NASA Ames ~ 2001, it said something like "help advance space science without leaving the comfort of a bed." I asked a friend who worked in life support about it, and she tactfully said "it's very uncomfortable" but the more complete description, for example of how your organs start to feel in a day or two after they start moving into different positions, sounded horrific. old NASA press release []

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