bungee jumping

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An increasingly popular activity in which a person, attached to elasticated ropes, jumps from a considerable height. The jumper goes into a free-fall, broken by the ropes that are secured at the jump-off point. The ropes prevent the jumper from hitting the ground or water. They are elasticated so that the jumper's descent does not come to an abrupt halt and deceleration is at a tolerable rate.

In 1993, there were more than 60 000 bungee jumps in the UK, many for charity. Some of the jumps were made by people with little training. Although there have been few accidents involving collision with the ground or another object, there is concern that the jumps result in a sudden rise in pressure within the eye which may detach the retina and lead to blindness. Prospective jumpers are advised to consult a physician to ensure that they have no medical condition (such as high blood pressure, eye problems, or bone disorders) which might be exacerbated by jumping. In addition, they should ensure that the jump is properly organized. In the UK, the official national body for bungee jumping is the British Elastic Rope Association. It ensures that sites are safe and that jumpers have had sufficient training.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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