Bed rest study aims to simulate possible bone and muscle atrophy astronauts might experience during long space missions. Hopefully NASA will provide participants with lots of DVDs.
If you just cant get out of bed, NASA might have a mission for you.
A NASA study is recruiting volunteers to to lie in a bed thats tilted downward at a -degree angle for days. Subjects who complete the entire bed rest project can earn up to $,.
The study is meant to test the conditions astronauts might experience while traveling in space. NASA hopes to find out what physical changes occur to scientists on these missions and how much body function is required for a person to complete a specific task. The information will be used to develop methods that make it easier for astronauts to physically acclimate to daily life following space exploration.
Since there is no gravity in space, astronauts dont exert as much effort and to stay in shape.
Researchers are requiring participants to stay on a slight tilt, which is intended to allow fluids to move toward the upper part of the body. That would allow researchers to study cardiovascular symptoms similar to what might be experienced during a space expedition.
The volunteers will be required to live in a bed rest cility located in NASAs Flight Analogs Research Unit (FARU) at the University of Texas Medical branch in Galveston. The subjects will be split into two groups. Some will be required to spend days living in the cility and go through a variety of resistance and aerobic exercises while remaining on bed rest. The others will spend days at the research unite, and will not be required to do the exercises.
Data about the subjects bones, muscles, heart and circulatory systems, nervous systems, nutritional conditions, and their ability to fight off infections will be recorded.
If they need to shower or use the bathroom, NASA has a modified shower device so the subjects will not need to stand.
Both groups will have a few days of regular, mobile living inside the cility, as well as a two-week recovery period after their days of bed rest during which they will be reconditioned back to normal physical activity.
NASA will pay $, a week for the study which can last up to weeks. The study was vetted and deemed safe by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a committee which looks at the safety and ethics of medical research studies with human subjects.
Still interested? You must be in shape -- another requirement is that participants have to be non-smokers in healthy physical condition who pass the Modified Air Force Class III physical.
We dont want couch potatoes for this study, Dr. Roni Cromwell, a senior scientist on the study, said to the Houston Chronicle.
Some health risks
The project does come with potential health risks. Dr. Adam Stein, chairman of the dept. of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y., told CBSNews