Two European campaigns subjected 23 male volunteers to 60 days of strict bed rest to chart how their body reacts to a sudden sedentary lifestyle. Half of them ‘jumped’ lying on their backs to mimic the absence of gravitational forces.
Three minutes a day, five times a week, participants jumped and hopped horizontally about 70 times. They were attached by shoulder straps to a ‘sledge’ that continuously pulled them back towards the baseboard, simulating gravity.
Subjects could perform exercises like squats, hops or calf raises.
Bedrest studies can answer questions on how our bodies adapt to living in space and how they adapt to ageing. Many of the findings from bedrest studies apply directly to people on Earth.