Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Skydiving is never 'plane sailing'

Date:
May 17, 2013
Source:
Northumbria University
Summary:
Skydivers show the same level of physical stress before every jump whether a first-timer or experienced jumper, say researchers.

Skydivers show the same level of physical stress before every jump whether a first-timer or experienced jumper.
Credit: 2happy / Fotolia

Skydivers show the same level of physical stress before every jump whether a first-timer or experienced jumper, say Northumbria researchers.

Related Articles


Previous laboratory studies have observed that when an individual is repeatedly exposed to a stressful situation, such as public speaking or performing mental arithmetic in front of an audience, their physiological responses -- levels of arousal and stress hormones -- decrease as they become accustomed to it. Such studies conclude that the more you are exposed to a stressor, the less you will respond to it.

Scientists at Northumbria University, led by Dr Michael Smith, set out to discover whether the same affect would occur in a real world setting.

The researchers studied 24 healthy male skydivers -- 11 novices carrying out their first solo skydive, and 13 experienced skydivers who had completed at least 30 jumps -- asking them to self-report their level of anxiety and also taking saliva samples to measure levels of the stress hormone cortisol before and after the jump.

They found that, although novice skydivers reported feeling more anxious prior to the jump than experienced skydivers, both sets of jumpers responded with the same levels of biological stress reactions to the jump.

Their study, published online this month in Physiology & Behavior, is the first to observe that skydiving increases levels of cortisol which does not reduce even with repeated exposure to jumping. The results also indicate that self-reports of anxiety in experienced skydivers did not match up with their actual biological stress reactions. Though they may not have perceived themselves as being as anxious as the novice skydivers, their bodies still showed the same stress reactions as a first time jumper.

Dr Michael Smith, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, said: "This study is significant because it reveals how people respond to stressors in the real world. Very few studies have been able to examine people's true reactions as it would be unethical to deliberately and repeatedly expose volunteers to severe stress in a laboratory situation. Therefore, the most stressful laboratory situations have tended to be exercises in public speaking or performing difficult tasks in front of an audience.

"We used skydiving as our 'real world' stressor because it is an activity that does pose a genuine risk to safety and survival. Although repeated exposure to a stressor dampens the stress response in the laboratory, our findings show that this is not the case for real life stressors which pose a threat to survival."

The findings highlight the usefulness of skydiving as a naturalistic stressor in future research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northumbria University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Olivia A. Hare, Mark A. Wetherell, Michael A. Smith. State anxiety and cortisol reactivity to skydiving in novice versus experienced skydivers. Physiology & Behavior, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.05.011

Cite This Page:

Northumbria University. "Skydiving is never 'plane sailing'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130517085718.htm>.
Northumbria University. (2013, May 17). Skydiving is never 'plane sailing'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130517085718.htm
Northumbria University. "Skydiving is never 'plane sailing'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130517085718.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins