The Huffington Post:
THE QUESTION: WHAT CAUSES MOTION SICKNESS AND WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO FEEL SICK?
The answer: No one knows for sure when it comes to the first part of the question. Despite the fact that people have been suffering from travel-related dizziness, nausea and headaches since motion ancient Greece, there’s still no consensus in the scientific community about what causes motion sickness.
This might be a more relevant question than you realize. While most people think of motion sickness in the context of transportation, virtual reality can also induce motion sickness, and some experts believe this will be a growing concern as the technology becomes pervasive in schools and workplaces.
But researcher Thomas Stoffregen has developed an alternative theory, based on the premise that the human body is constantly in motion. When humans stand up, they naturally oscillate back and forth. Put that same human on a ship, however, and walking becomes much more difficult.
“The way that you move is related to whether or not you are going to get sick,” said Stoffregen, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Minnesota who has spent 25 years measuring the differences in people’s movements. “You’ve used those leg movements because they’ve worked. But those exact same leg movements will tend to have the effect of destabilizing you on a ship.”
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