How Long Can A Human Hang Upside Down (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 28 Hours

Hanging upside down is a popular Yoga technique also known as “Shirshasana“. While there are several reasons people perform it, a longer duration might be hazardous. The seemingly effortless pose requires immense practice.

As mentioned, the general limit is 28 hours at a stretch. That being said, it is not always safe to remain in the position for that long. People indulge in such activities for their own amusement or on their doctor’s recommendation.

Anyway, it is not a good idea to get dogmatic about the time span. As it is said, excess of anything is not good.

How Long Can A Human Hang Upside Down?

Health conditionsDuration
Perfectly healthy72 hours
Partially fit45 hours
Average health28 hours

The duration varies on the basis of physique and the overall health of the person. This basis finds its roots in the metabolism. While a person does a headstand (another common name for the activity), the overall blood pressure is reduced considerably. In addition to this benefit, veins supply a higher quantity of blood to the head, which is linked to hair growth too.

Doctors advise patients with back pain to practice this exercise regularly. In spite of all these plus points, there is a carefully designated time limit. The variation in maximum feasible duration on the basis of gender has not been much significant, as negligible research has been conducted in that field. While experienced Yogis can do so quite flawlessly, the average human being needs a lot of practice.

The overall perspective changes as well – people see the world upside down. A solution to that issue is to keep eyes closed throughout the duration. There are a number of ill effects of staying in this upside-down position for too long. The most prominent one is stroke, as the brain is not accustomed to so much pressure. As a result, the membranes might swell up, ultimately leading to death.

Another cause might be dehydration. This is because the opposite gravitational pull leads to extra expenditure of energy. It is quite obvious as intake of liquids would be difficult in such an orientation. In certain cases, people have even been diagnosed with blood clots following long hours of uninterrupted headstands.

Why Would A Human Hang Upside Down For That Long?

There are a number of reasons for exceeding the time limit. The most prominent ones are as follows –

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Competitions

While it might sound senseless to many, there have been competitions for the “longest headstand ever”. There is no reliable information regarding the condition of the winner (if any), but it is true that people have been participating from time to time. They go through rigorous practice and tame their bodies for the purpose.

World records

The Guinness Book of World Records is sure to have a place for this activity as well. Till now, the highest record has been set by David Blaine, who is a stuntman. The 2008 activity required him to do a headstand for sixty to seventy hours at a stretch. Though his health was affected severely, he survived.

Testing one’s limits

People can think of any notorious thing these days. For instance, why not check out how long can the body hang upside down? There are people who have no idea of the advantages or disadvantages of this activity. Just leaving it on luck is not the right way. There have been people who have attempted headstands inside closed caves in the past.

Friendly challenges

Usual bets or challenges might take a fatal turn at times. In case two or more friends bet on each other’s capability to stay upside-down, the results cannot be guessed at all. After all, not everyone keeps health over games. The duration should be short and modifiable.

Conclusion

For whichever cause one chooses to hang upside down, the activity should be done with utmost care. Early on, it is advisable to have supervision. The aforementioned health hazards can’t be undone. So, one should avoid risking overall health for the purpose of personal amusement or simply an adrenaline rush.

Though it is a proven fact that hanging upside down is good for your spine and heart health, don’t exceed the prescribed limit. While people indulge in such challenging sprees just for fun, the consequences are inevitable. Never try a headstand if you are feeling drowsy or nauseous. For trainees, 28 hours is the limit.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=HOCADDxJLKEC&oi=fnd&pg=PT5&dq=humans+hang+upside+down&ots=ScETDBIJuE&sig=Ey8dYQTK8wV7PcccVCsHf_n5Iig
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00231454

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