This Is How Space Travel Affects The Human Body
Space travel has surprising effects on both physical and mental health. Sure, it looks pretty awesome to be an astronaut, going up there where there is no gravity and it seems that you can almost touch the stars. Astronauts always like to prove how cool their job is, maintaining profiles on social media and sharing all of these incredible photos and footages.
But the lack of gravity can actually be a real downer, pun intended, affecting both the physical and mental health of those who dwell in space for extended period of time.
Wanna be taller? Apparently, living in zero gravity will expand the vertebrae, making you grow up to 3%. Sad to say, you will shrink down to your normal height once you touch down on Earth. Oh, vanity.
But it isn’t all good news up there. Weightlessness also causes loss in bone density and muscle atrophy. Not doing weight-resistant activities can do that to a human body. That is why astronauts have personal gyms in space, to combat this effect. They exercise regularly and maintain a good diet.
Space vacuum is also known to affect the size and shape of the heart muscle. Zero gravity lowers blood pressure and slows down the heart rate, which in turn decreases the flow of blood through the body. Isolation in space also weakens the immune system, allowing unearthly microbes to pass from food and other to you. Radiation and stress also play a huge factor.
Last, but not least, being isolated so far away from any living creature on this planet can put you at serious risk of depression and sleep disorders. Since there is only 90 minutes of light-dark cycle, the same we experience in 24 hours down here, it takes a serious dedication to exercise and proper sleeping habits to reduce these changes.
All goes back to normal once you come back to sweet, green Earth.