Fainting is temporary loss of consciousness, lasting from a few seconds to a minute or two. It is, in effect, the body’s mechanism for restoring a failing circulation (especially to the brain) by adopting a horizontal position. Causes include standing in the same position for too long, being in a hot stuffy room or missing a meal. The person usually looks pale and feels weak. Someone who feels faint should sit down, and bend forwards with the head between the knees; clothing that is tight at the neck or waist should be loosened. Plenty of fresh air is helpful. If the casualty passes out completely but is breathing normally, it is important to lay him on his back and lift his legs off the ground, propping them on a chair if one is available. Faintness caused by standing too long in one position can usually be avoided by alternately contracting and relaxing the muscles of the feet and lower legs.