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Study: Going on a blind date is as thrill-inducing as skydiving

Going on a blind first date is just as thrilling as skydiving, according to a new study monitoring the heart rates of participants. The results suggest that doing more things outside of your comfort zone could help ease fight-or-flight nerves.

The findings came as a surprise to researchers from the University of Wolverhampton, who conducted the study.

“It’s no surprise to see heart rates spike before undertaking thrilling experiences and extreme sports, however it is a surprise to see dating, among the top thrills,” said Martin Khechera, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science at the University of Wolverhampton.

For the study, the researchers asked participants to do several activities, including indoor skydiving, a zip wire course, and a first date. The participants wore monitors to measure heartbeat and fluctuations in pulse.

The average heart rate during skydiving for the participants was 111 beats per minute (BPM), just slightly higher than the heart rates measured during a first date which was 106 BPM.

The study also included a survey of 2,000 British adults and their feelings about first date experiences.

The survey found that 54 percent of responders feel a first date is a thrilling experience and one-third of participants previously considered leaving or canceling a date because of nerves.

According to the study, the key to losing those first date jitters may be continually putting yourself in situations out of your comfort zone.

“The more we get used to pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone the better we get in handling stressful situations,” said Khechera. “It’s valid to conclude that the more we push ourselves out of our comfort zone by skydiving or taking on heights or even the exhilarating rush of a zip line the better we get in dating.”

By Kay Vandette, Staff Writer

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