BETHESDA, MD—Explaining that a sudden decrease in pressure could have long-term negative effects on the human body, experts at the National Institutes of Health warned Monday that transitioning too quickly from work to vacation could cause decompression sickness. “After spending a lengthy amount of time in a high-pressure environment, suddenly kicking back without acclimating to the new low-pressure conditions can cause tension in the body to rapidly release and lead to a number of debilitating symptoms,” said NIH researcher Gale Dickson, noting that vacationers who unwind too fast often experience joint pain, dizziness, paralysis, and, in severe cases, even death. “We recommend taking a few days to ease into a restful state by answering a few work emails every couple of hours or breaking up short stints of going to the beach and sitting in front of the television by doing some paperwork. Even just thinking about work as you get more comfortable can maintain a safe level of ambient pressure until your body reaches equilibrium.” Dickson confirmed that after a week of gradual decompression, one should then begin the reverse process in order to avoid any negative effects of abrupt recompression upon returning to work.
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