The Oregon Freediving Company

A brief history of physics of Freediving

I know this may seem like a very generic topic but I find that more often than not, freedivers are given the knowledge in order to dive, but fail to make the link between theory and application. There are also very experienced divers out there that even after years of diving still do not understand the physics of diving. This is one of the many reasons we advocate taking our Freediver or Intermediate Freediver courses here at the Oregon Freediving Company. Since man has been able to write, people have been interested in observing what is going on and documenting it. It is the ancient Greeks who were responsible for the shift to a rational belief. If you are close enough you are able to see through the magic to see the logic. Any technology is significantly advanced is discernable from magic. I know this may sound like a romantic Novel but the majority of our community sees the magic of freediving, and what I would like you to now see, is the logic behind it all.


Today I would like to shed light on how I see pressure and why pressure affects the body. So…. What is pressure? Continuous physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it. Or force per unit area!


Now, for the most part, I strongly advocate using the metric system for freediving but in terms of understanding pressure I found the imperial system to really help.


At sea-level, we are exposed to about 14.7 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure. This means that each square inch of our bodies has the equivalent force of about 14.7 pounds pressing on it. This pressure is actually a result of the weight of the air in Earth’s atmosphere.


As it turns out, if you took a column of air, one square inch in cross-section, that would extend from sea-level all the way to the edge of the atmosphere, all the gas molecules in that column of air would have a combined weight of about 14.7 pounds — which leads to 14.7 psi of pressure at sea level.


With that information in mind, and “atmosphere” is defined as a unit measurement of pressure that is equal to the pressure caused by the earth’s atmosphere at sea level….. Which just happens to be 14.7psi. Like air, water causes pressure by its weight. But of course, water is considerably denser than air. A column of sea water one inch in cross-section would need to be only about 10 meters tall to weigh 14.7 pounds. Therefore, at a depth of 10 meters beneath the sea surface, the total ambient pressure is about 29.4 psi, or 2 ATM which is 1 ATM caused by the weight of the air in Earth’s atmosphere, plus 1 ATM for the weight of 10 meters of seawater.

Even as a scuba diving instructor, this piece of the puzzle really didn’t click. I always understood what pressure was and how it affected me, but never why. These are the things that excite me as a diver, and if you feel the same, then join us on course. You won’t regret it.

How freediving improves your health

Freediving is a type of water sport which needs an immense amount of physical strength and concentration. It is very similar to scuba diving but without the equipment. In Freediving you won’t have any weight belt, no oxygen cylinders or any other supporting equipment. It’s the best way to explore marine life without any boundaries. There are many benefits of doing freediving as it’s the best way to tone your muscles, strengthen your lungs and conquer the challenge that lies when you are underwater. Here is a list of some of the benefits of Freediving.

  1. Stress Relief

Freediving in Oregon is very similar to yoga when it comes to stress relief. It will be very effective in putting you in a calm and completely relaxed mood while you are still working out in your body. The best part about freediving is that when you are underwater and in the midst of the beautiful aquatic life all your stress of busy lifestyle will disappear.

  1. Brings You Closer to Marine Life

Freediving in Oregon is one of the best activities when it comes to exploring the magnificent marine life. If you are freediving, you will be able to explore the underwater world without any kind of extra weight of carrying a oxygen cylinder or any other heavy diving gear which you have to carry while doing scuba diving. As in freediving you are not carrying any excess gear you will be in contact with the marine world and experience it’s a lot closer.


  1. Adrenaline Boost

If you are an adventure junkie, you will surely get the much needed boost of adrenaline while you are performing Freediving in Oregon. If studies are to be believed, then freedivers then it is one the best underwater sport when it comes to pumping you with a adrenaline rush.

  1. Improves Focus

Freediving is an activity which will require you to put in extreme concentration. If you want to dive in without any breathing equipment, then all the divers will have to go through a finely adjust to the external surroundings and also have a calm internal state of their body. Externally, all the divers will have to know how far from the surface they are and as well as what kind of marine life is surrounding them. Internally the divers should be aware about their limits which mainly includes knowing when they are running out of breath.

  1. Therapeutic for Joints

Many studies have shown that spending time in water and diving underwater can be a very good treatment for relieving pressure from your joints and also increase the range of motions because of the hydrostatic pressure which counteracts the usual pressure which the body encounters because of high impact activities.

  1. Strengthens your Lungs

Normally, just as it is the case with all the other cardio activities, the more you work your lungs out the stronger they become. If you are free diving, conditions of your lungs are improved with short term and long term breathing exercises. It will also boost up the capacity of oxygen in your lungs. In this way you can hold a more air for longer duration of time.