How Long Can You Hang Upside Down & Is It Safe?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on June 24th, 2022

When you are upside down, blood rushes your head, causing dizziness. This dizziness naturally encourages us to want to stand up again. But what if you stay in the upside-down position? How long can you stay hanging upside down?

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An average, healthy individual can hang upside down for a few seconds to a few minutes before becoming dizzy and sick. Practically, one might hang upside down for extended periods without being nauseated.

Below view of a man having fun while hanging from ladders and looking at the camera.

How long can you hang upside down before falling to your death? An average, healthy, untrained individual should be able to hang upside down for one or two days before succumbing to their injuries. After that, asphyxiation would result from an accumulation of blood and fluids in the upper part of your body (loss of breath).

Organs that have been inverted for an extended period will cease to function.

There have been a few incidents when people have died due to lengthy durations of hanging upside down. According to reports, a guy died after being trapped upside down in a cave for 28 hours in Utah. Asphyxiation was listed as the cause of death.

Hanging upside down is unnatural and might lead to health concerns over time.

That is why people sit or stand erect and lie down horizontally to allow body organs to remain in their normal positions. However, when you hang upside down, the strain on your organs causes them to move awkwardly.

Body inversion is a growingly popular therapy. It takes the strain off the spine. It is commonly done in 1 to 3-minute increments.

Continue reading to find out how long you can hang upside down before suffering major consequences or dying.

How Long Can You Stay Hanging Upside Down?

You should be able to hang upside down for 10 seconds to 1 minute without becoming dizzy or sick. With practice, you’ll be able to hang upside down for extended periods. It would certainly take several hours, if not a day or two, to die from hanging upside down.

Anything that does not occur naturally would interrupt the orderly flow of events. For example, it is abnormal for the body to hang upside down. Therefore this would surely cause complications.

But does it result in death? To address the question, we must first understand what occurs to the body during inversion.

Why Would A Human Stay Hanging Upside Down For That Long?

There are several causes for going over the time restriction. The most notable are as follows:


While it may seem absurd to many, competitions for the “longest headstand ever” have taken place. There is no credible information on the winner’s (if any) condition, but individuals have been participating from time to time. They put forth a lot of effort and tame their bodies for the goal.

Records across the world

This activity will certainly be included in the Guinness Book of World Records. To date, the highest record has been set by stuntman David Blaine. In 2008, he was compelled to do a headstand for sixty to seventy hours at a time. Even though his health was badly harmed, he lived.

Experimenting with one’s boundaries

Nowadays, people can recall any infamous event. For example, why not see how long the body can hang upside down? Some people are unaware of the benefits or drawbacks of this pastime. It is not sufficient to rely just on chance. Attempts at headstands within closed caverns have been made in the past.

Friendly competitions

At times, ordinary bets or challenges might be lethal. If two or more pals wager on each other’s ability to stay upside-down, the outcome is impossible to predict. After all, not everyone prioritizes their health over their games. The duration should be brief and adjustable.

Therapeutic Inversion Therapy

Spinal traction is another name for inversion treatment. The argument is that being upside down relieves gravity’s pressure on your nerves and spinal disks. You use it to generate more space between squashed vertebrae temporarily.

Does inversion therapy work?

The evidence on whether or not these tables are helpful for pain therapy is conflicting.


Some people discover that they temporarily relieve low back or squeezed disk discomfort. However, it is unlikely to be a successful long-term therapy. According to research, inversion therapy appears to be no more effective than sham treatments in this region.


English research published in 2012 found that combining inversion therapy with physical therapy was effective for sciatica pain caused by a bulging disk. It has the potential to lessen the need for back surgery.

Kidney Stones.

This form of treatment may be beneficial for uncomfortable kidney stones. When used with diuresis, it has been shown in studies to aid in removing stones. This technique, which is performed in the hospital to get fluids so you can pee, can aid in removing kidney stones. This combination therapy is used after a shockwave treatment to assist break up the stones.

What Happens to Your Body When You’re Turned Inside Out?

When turned upside down, blood begins to collect in your head and upper body. Your heart’s purpose is to pump blood into various organs to nourish the cells.

When you’re standing upright, the pressure imposed by the blood coursing through your arteries is just enough to allow it to flow smoothly into your legs and feet.

The heart’s function would be altered if you were upside down in a vertical posture, with your head hanging and your feet in the air.

Some specialists believe that when a person is inverted, the heart works less hard since it does not have to pump as hard to allow blood to enter the brain. According to reports, this decreases blood pressure. However, there is no comprehensive empirical data to back up his argument.

When you hang yourself upside down, the following things happen within your body:

  • According to scientists, the heart might beat harder to push blood into your feet and lower limbs. This activity would increase your heart’s pounding, leading your blood pressure to rise. A rise in blood pressure would make you hypertensive, which will lead to Cerebrovascular Attacks (CVA) or strokes–when a blood artery ruptures or clogs due to too much pressure.
  • The heavier lower organs may also squeeze your top delicate internal organs.

Of course, there are risk factors for stroke, such as age, hyperlipidemia (high lipid or fat content in the blood vessels), and atherosclerosis. However, you cannot rule out the possibility; and

Because the lungs are delicate, pressure from the liver, kidneys, and intestines may harm them. The compression may also crush the heart. Blood would also rush to your eyes, possibly causing them to redden. Nobody can completely foresee what will happen if you hang upside down for an extended time.

However, note that these phenomena are only possible under lengthy and continuous inversion. Therefore, if you have hypertension, lung disease, heart disease, or any other significant ailment, you should avoid practicing body inversions.

How long can you hold your breath upside down? For example, if you are in good health and hang upside down for a few minutes, say 30 seconds to one minute, you may feel dizzy or uncomfortable, but you will not die.

To develop critical data, researchers must undertake extensive investigations on the impacts of hanging upside down.

Body Inversion Therapy

According to reports, inversion therapy is one of the therapies for poor circulation, scoliosis, persistent lower back pain, and sciatica. The therapy, however, should be administered by a professional physical therapist or doctor. The therapist places your entire body in an inverted yet horizontal posture using an appropriately prepared inversion table.

The inversion period is likewise limited to 30 seconds to one minute for the first few times. Then it can be increased to five minutes or more if the doctor or supervising therapist recommends it.

During treatment, however, the inverted posture differs from the vertical position of hanging upside down with your feet up, and your head dangling. Instead, before the body is rotated downward in inversion treatment, the head and feet are in a horizontal posture and fastened to the table.

According to certain research, inversion treatment relieves the compressed sciatic nerves.

As a result, pain is alleviated. However, more substantial research is needed to demonstrate that inversion treatment is helpful.

Yoga and Body Inversion

While meditating, yoga practitioners use bodily inversions. For example, Yogis execute 5 to 10 breaths of headstands, forearm stands, handstands, shoulder stands, and other bodily inversions to cleanse their thoughts, enable the spring of youth to flow, and relax their souls.

They think performing body inversions at the right moment will increase circulation, build core strength, and activate the lymphatic system. Furthermore, they suggest that it might increase your self-esteem. As a result, they advocate performing body inversions within a certain time frame to get the full benefits.

You don’t die if you hang upside down for a few minutes. You may feel dizzy, your eyes may protrude, or your blood pressure may increase, but no one died after hanging upside down for a few minutes.

Nonetheless, there have been isolated accounts of persons going unconscious and dying due to hanging upside down for several hours. However, they are uncommon, and it is unclear if they perished due to hanging upside down.

People with hypertension, heart disease, or respiratory disorders are at a higher risk of developing health problems after hanging upside down for extended periods. As a result, you should avoid doing upside-down poses if you have certain health conditions.

How long can you hold your breath upside down? You should be able to hang upside down for 1-3 minutes without becoming dizzy or sick. With practice, you’ll be able to hang upside down for extended periods.

How long can you hold your breath upside down? How long can you hang upside down before succumbing to death? It would certainly take several hours, if not a day or two, to die from hanging upside down. Asphyxiation would result from a buildup of blood in the upper portion of your body (loss of breath).

Organs that have been inverted for an extended period will cease to function.

Options for practicing inversion therapy

The four most frequent ways to do inversion treatment are as follows:

Gravity boots

Gravity boots are intended to assist a person in hanging upside down from a horizontal bar, most typically found in a doorway. The boots wrap around your ankles and connect to the bar with a strong hook. Gravity boots are commonly used as part of a core workout.

Table of inversion

Inversion tables are likely the greatest option for novices since they are simple to use and provide much support and comfort. An inversion table enables you to become partially or completely inverted. To begin, secure yourself to the table in an upright posture and slowly rotate your head until it is below your heart.

Sling for yoga

The yoga sling is most commonly employed in aerial or Iyengar yoga, which both emphasize inverted positions. A yoga sling comprises parachute fabric with a long, broad piece in the center.

This is where you’ll start with most of your inverted postures. Many high-quality yoga slings contain two arms, two leg handles on each side, and two extra grips at the top to assist you in returning to an upright posture.

Postures based on yoga

Traditional yoga poses such as handstands, headstands, shoulder stands, and other head-down positions provide anti-gravity health advantages but should only be attempted by experienced yogis to avoid injury.

How Long Can You Hang Upside Down Safely?

You now understand that there is a safe technique for hanging upside down. However, you must accomplish it correctly and within a short amount of time. First-timers must learn the correct position and do it for 30 seconds to one minute.

If you feel uneasy or unwell within that period, you can stop without waiting for the timer to run out. The key is only to do it when you are not feeling ill. If you become unwell due to body inversion, the advantages will be null and void.

Expert yogis can hold inverted poses for 5 to 12 minutes; however, they have had enough practice to do so. Do not undertake body inversions without first visiting your doctor and following the necessary guidelines.

People with underlying conditions, as previously stated, can die when doing body inversions. So, if you’re unsure whether you have a concealed ailment, see your doctor first and get authorization to perform the test.

The Advantages and Drawbacks of Hanging Upside Down

Let’s go over the advantages and disadvantages of hanging upside down. Then, evaluate the results and make a decision.

The benefits of hanging upside down

The following are the advantages of hanging upside down for the allotted time:

1. Significant Relief from Back Pain

Hanging upside down opens up your back and allows everything to relax, reducing stress in your back muscles and reducing or eliminating acute and chronic pain.

2. Relieves Sciatic Nerve Compression

When the body is turned upside down, the compressed sciatic nerves in the lower back are released.

As a result, pain is eased. The sciatic nerves are located at the rib cage’s base that can be pinched or crushed by surrounding tissues. When left untreated, this might result in excruciating agony.

3. Increases Circulation

Inversions increase circulation in the head since the heart does not have to pump blood to the brain. However, when the heart is in a normal position, it must pump blood into the brain.

4. Restores Stability

According to reports, inversions restore the body’s homeostasis and improve the body’s youthful appearance. However, more extensive research in this area is required.

5. Improves Lymphatic System Function

Body inversions improve lymphatic system function by releasing pressure on the lymphatic system.

Hanging upside down for 30 seconds to two minutes has no negative consequences.

6. Relieves Stress

You will begin to experience the soothing effects of inversion as soon as you acclimate to hanging upside down, which normally takes around 60 seconds. Simply hanging upside down with my eyes closed is an incredible moment for meditation or relaxation for me.

Others have described inversion as a full-body massage. In any case, the benefit is obvious. Inversion relaxes both your mind and body.

7. Enhances concentration, balance, and brain function

When you hang upside down, oxygen-rich blood flows to your brain (which may seem strange at first), but when you get used to it, you’ll realize your brain feels more active.

Because your brain is your body’s greatest consumer of oxygen, more blood equals more oxygen, which means higher brain function.

8. Improved Posture

You will notice an improvement in your posture if you use the core strengthening exercises while inverted.

Because I’ve been using a standing desk for years, it wasn’t as noticeable to me immediately, but others I’ve spoken with said that their posture improved rapidly.

9. Muscle relaxation

Inversion treatment is a great method to relax and stretch your muscles. Gravity relieves pressure on the bottom half of your body while you hang upside down. This exercise may also cause a sequence of “cracking” sounds to be heard throughout your body, relieving built-up pressure.

The dangers of hanging upside down

The dangers of hanging upside down within the time limit are as follows:

1. Syncope is possible.

When reversed inside the time limit, you may lose consciousness or faint. This is, however, unusual. Only the most sensitive people are prone to syncope. However, hanging upside down for an extended period increases the syncope risk.

2. May Cause Minor Illnesses

Minor symptoms such as dizziness, headache, and heavy eyes are possible. These, however, would vanish as soon as you assumed an upright position.

3. May aggravate pre-existing illnesses

It may worsen if you have an underlying ailment, such as hypertension or other metabolic abnormalities. It’s a remote possibility, but it’s not impossible.

Is it possible to die when hanging upside down?

It is possible to perish by hanging upside down for an extended period. Although it is uncommon, blood can pool in the head, which can be exceedingly hazardous to the body.

If you want to undertake inversion treatment or any kind of hanging upside down, always do it under the supervision of a specialist, such as a physical therapist. Alternatively, have a friend nearby if you need to return and cannot stand upright.

Suggestions for Hanging Upside Down Without Being Killed

Long periods of hanging upside down may result in death.

Healthy people may survive, but people who are ill may die if they are hung upside down for several hours. This is discussed in the subtopic above.

If You Want to Take Advantage of Inversion Therapy, Speak with a Licensed Therapist

If done correctly, inversion treatment is useful. However, if you feel nauseous while doing it, don’t force it. The therapy is not suitable for everyone. If inversion treatment is not for you, there are alternative ways to gain the same health advantages.

For a Few Minutes, Hanging Upside Down Can Be Beneficial

Yogis and inversion treatment patients stated that hanging upside down offers health advantages. Nonetheless, the operation should be carried out by a qualified yogi and physical therapist. Some research has confirmed the veracity of these assertions.

If You Feel Unwell During the Process, Stop

Stop if you feel unwell even before you begin or throughout the process. Nobody is compelling you to do it.

Inversions should only be done if they make you feel good.

Always do inversions with the assistance of a professional.

Invert only when accompanied by a qualified Yogi instructor, a physical therapist, or a doctor. Their advice would guarantee that you are not putting yourself at any risk.

Follow these safety precautions:

  • Keep an eye on you. Without a spotter, do not hang upside down on a table. Instead, ask someone to keep an eye on you if you can’t get back up.
  • Don’t lean back. Try to lean back at a 30-degree angle or as low as 10 degrees if you’re elderly.
  • Fasten your seat belts. Use the safety belts or harnesses to keep you from falling off.
  • Do it in small bursts. Try it for 1 or 2 minutes once a day at the start to see how you feel. Then, limit your inversion table sessions to 5 minutes a day, twice a day.
  • Tip up gradually. After you’ve completed it, carefully return to an upright position. If you jolt up too rapidly, you may cause muscle spasms or back disk discomfort.
  • Combine the two. If you stretch and keep flexible, this therapy may be more successful. Inquire with your physical therapist or doctor about stretches.

On an inversion table, how long should you stay inverted?

For beginners

If this is your first time utilizing an inverted gravity table, you should take it carefully because your spine and back will require some conditioning. In other words, your body needs some time to acclimate. Therefore, you should begin inverting for at least 1-2 minutes in a row and gradually increase the number of sets as your body becomes used to the movements.

It’s critical to remember that inverting more frequently is far more significant than inverting for greater durations of time every session. This is because inverting for extended periods can generate a sudden strain on your spine and back, which can result in significant injury. Therefore, invert for at least 1-2 minutes, or as long as you feel comfortable doing so. As you grow more familiar with your inversion table, it will become much simpler to invert for extended lengths of time.

More importantly, pay attention to your body. Hanging upside down for extended periods can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath. If any of these symptoms appear when inverting, carefully return to an upright posture. After a brief break, execute a couple of sets of inversions. Your body will have adjusted over time.


If you’ve been utilizing an inversion table for a while, your body should have completely adjusted, and inverting for prolonged lengths of time should be no problem. Try inverting for at least 3-5 minutes in a row. If your body allows you, you can even do extra sets. During this time, your body will be fully adjusted, and hanging upside down should be a breeze.

Take frequent brief pauses anytime you begin to feel uneasy. For example, you don’t want to be in pain or weary after a long exercise.

How Often Should an Inversion Table Be Used?

Your previous experience with the table determines the frequency at which you should invert an inversion table. Most experts advocate inverting a few times every day to attain the best outcomes.

You can invert early in the morning, in the middle of the day, or before bed. In fact, including an inversion program is a terrific strategy to enable your body to acclimatize, as well as gain quick relief from back pain and other issues.

If you use an inversion table to treat lower back pain, consider inverting as often as possible to reduce your pain and considerably enhance your spinal health.

Think About Your Medical History

Because of the hazards involved, most inversion treatment professionals frequently advise against inverting. For example, you should not use an inversion table if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, visual disorders such as glaucoma or retinal detachment, ear-related problems, fractures, or are pregnant. If you want to invert, make sure to visit your doctor first.


The average individual can hang upside down for a few seconds to a few minutes without becoming dizzy or sick. However, you might hang upside down for more extended periods without feeling nauseated if you practice gradually.

How long can you hang upside down before falling to your death? Before dying, it would most likely require 1 or 2 days of hanging upside down. Asphyxiation would result from an accumulation of blood and fluids in the upper part of your body (loss of breath). Organs that have been inverted for an extended period will cease to function.

There have been no stories of someone dying due to a few minutes of hanging upside down.

There have been a few situations where a person has died.

In 2009, a Utah man became trapped in a cave and died after hanging upside down for 28 hours while rescuers attempted to extricate him from the small entrance. Because human lungs developed to lie above the other organs, asphyxiation was the most frequent cause of death.

So you can safely hang upside down for a few seconds or minutes. Stop and return to your regular upright position if you feel dizzy or uncomfortable.

There are certain advantages to hanging upside down, but you should first check your doctor before adopting this unusual position. Your health should always come first.


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