Scientists at France's space medical institute are looking for young, fit and healthy men willing to lie in bed for two months. The researchers, who are hoping to study the effects of microgravity, are offering volunteers €16,000 (£13,700) just to lie on their backs.

According to The Guardian, scientists at the Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology (Medes) near Toulouse are looking for a very specific type of volunteers. Successful candidates must be fit and athletic males ages 20 to 45 who do not smoke, have no allergies and have a maximum body mass index of between 22 and 27.

Researchers will choose 24 candidates, who will undergo testing two weeks before and after spending their two months in bed.

"During the first two weeks our scientists will do a whole series of tests and measurements on the volunteers," Dr Arnaud Beck, who is coordinating the experiment, told 20 Minutes.

"This will be followed by a 60-day period during which they must remain in bed, the head slightly inclined downwards at less than six degrees,"

Beck cautioned that the job is tougher than it sounds. "The rule is to keep at least one shoulder in contact with the bed or its frame," he said. Participants will be expected to eat, wash and perform all bodily functions while lying in bed, The Guardian reports.

Beck says that the study aims to recreate "the weightlessness of the International Space Station (ISS)". It hopes to examine the detrimental effects of prolonged weightlessness on the human body and to find ways to combat those effects.

"In certain conditions the cardiovascular system is affected and is not capable of making the same effort as before the experiment. We even see a greater tendency to drops in blood pressure and vertigo," he said.

Beck added that, like astronauts who have spent a long time in space, volunteers will experience muscle loss in the lower body, a decline in bone density and difficulty with standing afterwards.

After the 60-day bed period, volunteers will spend two weeks undergoing further tests and "recuperating" from the experiment.