Introduction to Scuba Diving
Funding for this videoclip series has been provided by: Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center
Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) is an invention that allows humans to breathe compressed air from a tank while underwater. Scuba diving, which has become one of the fastest-growing recreational activities in the world, is relaxing and can be enjoyed by individuals of all abilities. Scuba diving also involves travel and adventure in exotic places, including new experiences with different cultures.
The benefits are physiological and spiritual. A scuba diver experiences a weightless environment that is like that of an astronaut - without the space suit. In the water, any limitations an individual may have can be adapted easily, as water is a great equalizer. Scuba diving may enhance free movement of a limitation and reduces the force of gravity. Muscles that may not be used every day are active underwater, as people with physical disabilities can move limbs in ways they may not be able to on land. Moreover, health benefits are reaped from practice of this activity. Anyone who does not have an open wound, a pressure-related illness, use a ventilator, or have a condition that would be a contraindication to this sport can benefit from it.
As with any sport or recreational activity for all individuals, emphasis should be placed on safety and the selection of proper equipment and instruction (Paciorek & Jones, 2001).