Crashing Down 30 Stories

“When I was little, my grandfather used to make me stand in a closet for five minutes without moving. He said it was elevator practice.” -Stephen Wright

Ever get into an elevator and wonder what you would do if it fell?  Radio Lab has come to your rescue.  According to this piece, you should lie down. And be fat.

From the piece:

“[T]he best way to survive in a falling elevator is to lie down on your back. Sitting is bad but better than standing, because buttocks are nature’s safety foam. Muscle and fat are compressible: they help absorb the G forces of the impact.

“As for jumping up in the air just before the elevator hits bottom, it only delays the inevitable. Plus, then you might be squatting when you hit. In a 1960 Civil Aeromedical Research Institute study, squatting on a drop platform caused “severe knee pain” at relatively low G forces. “Apparently the flexor muscles … acted as a fulcrum to pry open the knee joint,” the researchers noted with interest and no apparent remorse.”

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