Harvard Health Letter

In Brief: Thrill rides may be heartfelt

In Brief

Thrill rides may be heartfelt

Now that it's summertime, millions of us will set out for an amusement park or a state or county fair. No one needs to be told that the some of the rides you'll find there — particularly the roller coasters — are not for the faint of heart. It turns out that they may not be good for the infirm of heart, either.

Researchers at the University Hospital in Mannheim, Germany, monitored the heart rates of 55 young people (average age, 28) before, during, and after they rode Expedition GeForce, a roller coaster in Hassloch, Germany.

Before they got on, the average heart rate of the study's participants was 91 beats per minute, a bit above the healthy resting rate of 60–80 beats per minute, and perhaps an indication that they were nervous, but nothing exceptional.

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