Human Benchmarks

Owners Manual for Human Bodies

Carry Capacity

Optimal is about 30% body weight. Each extra 10% reduces movment, increases fatique, and lowers awareness.  


For optimal climbing conditions, an average person climbs 6’ per second, an athletic person 7.5’ per second, and an elite climber about 9’ per second.  

Dive Depth

An average person can dive about 20’, and athletic diver about 40’ to 60’, and an elite diver up to 1,100’.  

Hold Breath

An average person can hold his breath for 30–90 seconds, an athlete for 120-180 seconds, and an elite, world-class athlete for up to 24 minutes.  


An average person can make a vertical high jump of around 17”, a standing broad jump of about 7’, and a running long jump of 8’. An athletic can make a vertical high jump of around 48”, a standing broad jump of about 8.5’, and a running long jump of 25’. An elite athlete can make a vertical high jump of around 96”, a standing broad jump of about 12’, and a running long jump of 30’.  


An average person can bench-press about 1.5x his body weigh, squat at 2x his body weight, and deadlift 3x his body weight. An athletic person can bench-press about 2x his body weigh, squat at 2.5x his body weight, and deadlift 4x his body weight. An elite athlete can bench-press about 2.5x his body weigh, squat at 3x his body weight, and deadlift 5x his body weight.  


For average people, recreational running is about 8 mph, and maxed-out running about 12 mph. For athletes, that goes to 15 mph, for elite athletes about 26 mph, and the known human maximum is about 28 mph.  


An average person swims at about 2mph, an athlete at 5 mph, and an elite athlete at 6 mph.  


And average person may throw a ball or rock about 120-150’, and an elete athlete about 300’.  


Standard walking speed is 3-4 mph, aka 20 a minute mile, or 3 miles per hour which is the standard league.  

Threats & Dangers


Burn Recovery

First-degree burns (damage only the epidermis) usually heal within 3–5 days. Second-degree burns (damages the epidermis and the dermis), heals in 2-3 weeks. Third-degree burns (epidermis, dermis, and deeper tissues) Third-degree burns don’t heal by themselves. Fourth degree (destroys skin, fat, muscle, and sometimes bone) won’t heal by itself. Victim is also affected by percentage area of body burned, and the duration of the burn itself.


Once breath runs out, drown time is 20 seconds for a child, 40 seconds for an adult. The victim still may be resuscitated up to 6-12 minutes beyond that. After that, permanent brain injury occurs, then death.  


Mortality from a fall equals approximately 1% per foot fallen, reaching 100% at 100’. Fluke survivals happen, even up to 3,000’ feet, but many factors apply, and flukes are the exception, not the rule. Hitting the water cleanly halves the percentage as long as there is 12’ or more feet depth for deceleration. Falling into heavy snow or throught lush foliage can also help, or wet sand or spongy earth. The Breakfall skill lowers damage by 20% if fall is under 60’.  

Heal Broken Bone or Wound

Most broken bones or wounds heal at around 6-8 weeks. A deep wound or severe breakage is closer to the 8 week mark.  


Most animal venom will kill after 1-2 weeks; Cyanide poison will kill after 1-15 minutes; Black Mamba venom kills in 10-20 minutes.  

Severe Illness

Plagues like Ebola kill 6-15 days after symptoms arise, while the Black Death kills 3-5 days after symptoms, and airborn Black Death kills in 3-8 hours.  


Vascular constriction will kill in about 24 hours if not treated.  

Sleep Deprivation

A normal person can go about 4 days without permanent effects, but some have made it up to 11 days. Short term effects include hallucinations, poor concentration, depression, and poor perception. Once the threshhold is reached, serious neurological, physiological, and psychiatric damage begins and is perhaps permanent.  


Death usually comes after about 3 weeks, but in exceptional conditions it can take 11 to 12 weeks.  


Death by dehydration is about 3 days in challenging conditions, 7 days in comfortable conditions, and in extreme cases up to 18 days.

Cover image: by Scott A. Story


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17 Mar, 2022 17:36

Thank you for these. Your artwork is amazing, too. :)

17 Mar, 2022 18:00

Thanks, Eve! I'd go crazy without drawing or writing, tbh.

Author, Artist, Historian
17 Mar, 2022 18:17

Wow, I never thought I'd find a useful resource like this without having to search things that would probably make me look like a maniac! XD Thank you ever so much for posting this. It'll really come in handy I do believe!

~TimeBender~Check out the first chapter of my newest book on World Anvil (Spoiler I'm posting the entire book for free): 1/The First Rule of Monsterborn Adoptions
17 Mar, 2022 19:18

You bet! I'll look like a maniac for you! :)

Author, Artist, Historian
18 Mar, 2022 14:35

So neat! So helpful to have all this reference material in one place. Thank you!