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Question #91833 posted on 11/21/2018 12:36 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Based off the joke in this month's Friend, we googled the swinging record. It's 31 hrs. Which is long. But also shorter than we were expecting. We expected a few days. What is it about swinging that means they didn't go longer? Is it physically impossible to swing longer? Can they not give them food or water?

-Can't swing more than five minutes


Dear 30 Hours and 55 Minutes Behind,

So, there are several possible things that would prevent someone from swinging longer. Let's examine the suspects.

  • Food and Water: 31 hours without food, while uncomfortable, is actually a relatively short time without food. Water is a bigger issue. According to this website you can go about 4 days without drinking water; however, as you said they would be able to eat or drink on the swings, so that doesn't seem to be the main issue.
  • Sleep: How long can a person go without sleep? The unofficial world record is 264 hours or about 11 days (source) which means that again, while staying awake for 30+ of swinging is technically possible.
  • Going to the Bathroom: While this technically wouldn't prevent a person from swinging, this could be a cause of serious discomfort. According to this article the average person produces 1500 ml of urine a day, while the average bladder can hold between 400-600 ml. Which means that about 8 hour tops is about how long you could swing without having to deal with this uncomfortable situation. But, seeing as they already swung (swang? swinged?) for 31 hours they apparently had some way to deal with this. 
  • Exercising: Swinging is pretty tiring; I for one would definitely not be able to swing for more than 15-30 minutes. But, I'm not the most in shape. We already know 31 hours of swinging in a row is possible, but what is the longest time a person could excercise without giving out? Well, Ultra-marathon runner Dean Karnazes ran for 80 hours and 44 minutes without stopping. Dang. In an article describing his run Dean is quoted as saying "There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness; many a runner has crossed it.” Spoken like a true champion Dean. (source)
  • They Already Had The Record: I think the real reason they stopped is that they already had the record. If you already have the record, and no one in their right mind would break it, why keep swinging? 

In conclusion, I think that it would definitely possible to swing for up to 80 hours, but you can bet your bottom dollar that if I were to break the record, I would do it by 20 minutes and call it good. There's no way I'm swinging any longer than necessary.




Dear Aziraphale,

Speaking of world records, did you know that they guy who won the Men's marathon at the 1904 Olympics did so by drinking brandy mixed with rat poison?