It sounds like an urban legend that should be right up there with Pop Rocks and Coca-Cola, but NASA will actually pay you $5,000 to lie in bed for 90 days. It may seem too good to be true, but the experiment has a scientific application. Test subjects lie with their legs elevated, and the extended lack of muscle use is similar to what astronauts experience in space. Subjects are not allowed to engage in much physical activity, but they can watch TV, read or use computers [source: Smith]. So, it might be your chance to get paid while you write a novel, learn Japanese or work on items two through 10 on this list.
But engaging in a bed rest study shouldn't be taken lightly. Individuals with serious health conditions are not eligible, and applicants have to pass a psychological screening. Sexual activity is not permitted during the study, and there can be short-term and long-term side effects. Participants lose between 1 and 2 percent of their bone mass for each month they participate in the study, and that mass may never be regained [source: Madrigal].
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