The Psychophysiological Responses of Novice & Experienced Paratroopers

Research Paper Title

Psychophysiological response in parachute jumps, the effect of experience and type of jump.

Background

The researchers aimed to analyse the effect of experience and type of parachute jump on the psychophysiological responses of jumpers.

Methods

They analysed blood oxygen saturation, heart rate, blood glucose, lactate and creatinkinase, leg strength, isometric hand strength, cortical arousal, specific fine motor skills, self-confidence and cognition, and somatic and state anxiety, before and after four different parachute jumps:

  1. A sport parachute jump;
  2. A manual tactical parachute jump;
  3. Tandem pilots’ and
  4. Tandem passengers.

Results

Independently of the parachute jump, the psychophysiological responses of experienced paratroopers were not affected by the jumps, except for an increase in anaerobic metabolism. Novice parachute jumpers presented a higher psychophysiological stress response than the experienced jumpers, together with a large anticipatory anxiety response before the jump; however, this decreased after the jump, although the high physiological activation was maintained.

Conclusions

This information could be used by civil and military paratroopers’ instructors to improve their training programmes.

Reference

Clemente-Suárez, V.J., Robles-Pérez, J.J. & Fernández-Lucas, J. (2017) Psychophysiological response in parachute jumps, the effect of experience and type of jump. Physiology and Behaviour. 179:178-183. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.06.006. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

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