Fancy a job doing absolutely nothing? Meet Drew Iwanicki, who, last year, was a part of a NASA study that paid him $18,000 to lie down in bed for 70 days straight.
You read that right. All Iwanicki had to do for 70 days was lie down. The study, titled CFT 70 (Countermeasure and Functional Testing in Head-Down Tilt Bed Rest Study), aimed to learn more about how human bone and muscle might deteriorate in space.
Drew Iwanicki, the man who had everyone’s dream job with NASA
In 2013, Iwanicki came across a Reddit post advertising the NASA study and applied out of boredom. After about a year of waiting, when he had lost all hope of getting selected, he received the offer letter to join NASA’s bed rest study. A pretty good option when you’re unemployed and want to catch up on some reading.
Prior to Iwanicki, there had been 54 participants in the study, chosen out of a pool of 25,000 applicants.
Who says NASA is just for the astronauts?
I can imagine a lot of people saying, “Lie in bed… Surely I can do that?” But it is not as much fun as it sounds — even for $18,000!
Contrary to popular belief, staying horizontal is difficult. Iwanicki was not allowed to lay down flat like people might normally do. His bed was tilted at a negative six-degree angle with his feet over his head. Fortunately, Iwanicki was allowed to turn to his side and stomach.
“I’ve never had any serious type of hospitalization, so the idea of bed rest was a very foreign idea. Then the fact that I was not able to sit up makes it more extreme. Physically, it was a painful experience; the body is not used to laying down for extended periods of time.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Iwanicki also had to follow a strict sleeping schedule.
He explained, “I was on a regimented sleep schedule. Lights out at 10 p.m., lights on at 6 a.m. No napping allowed during the day, which is one of the cruelest jokes about being stuck in bed all day, not being able to nap.”
To pass the time, Iwanicki read books, studied, played online games and went on the internet.
On December 2, 2014, the study finally ended and Iwanicki was able to stand for the first time in 70 days.
Since the study ended, Iwanicki has been bitten by the research study bug and continues to find and participate in paid research studies.
I never realized lying in bed could be so hard on your body! We sure hope he’s insured.
H/t: Next Shark