Flying has never been something most people look forward to doing. It’s uncomfortable, inconvenient, and even hazardous to your health! According to research, about 20 percent of flyers develop cold or flu symptoms after a flight. But sniffles and a sore throat are a minor inconvenience compared to the more severe health issues that can occur.
Does this mean that you should forget about flying? No. The risk of developing severe health problems due to flying is very low. But, understanding why many people get sick and what you can do to prevent it will help you stay healthy next time you fly.
Why Do People Get Sick on Planes?
Despite what you may think, it is not the recycled air that causes post-flight flu. Planes have some of the most advanced air filter technology available. Like anywhere else, most germs on a plane are from surfaces. The long-term exposure to these germs combined with jet lag and lack of sleep can cause your immune system to fail.
Six Tips For Protecting Yourself While You Are in the Air
Wash your hands frequently. You should be washing your hands regularly anyway, but doing it on a plane is more important. Yes, hand sanitizer can kill germs, but getting up and washing your hands in the bathroom is better. Walking to and from the bathroom gets your blood flowing and can prevent circulatory problems from developing.
Wear a mask. The pandemic may be easing, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your mask. Even if you are vaccinated, masks can help protect against many common viruses you can pick up on board. Even if the air is cleaned frequently, it won’t stop the guy behind you from coughing on you throughout a six-hour flight.
Wipe down your fold-down tray. Many of the germs you encounter on a flight are right in front of you. Tray tables are some of the dirtiest places onboard. By giving it a good wipe as soon as you sit down, you will eliminate a significant source of germs.
Hands out of the seat-back pocket. A seat-back pocket is an excellent place for you to store your laptop or shove a water bottle. But it was also a convenient place for the passenger before you to throw used tissues and other items you don’t want to touch.
Stay hydrated. Severe dehydration can cause a decrease in the immune system, kidney damage, and breathing problems. Stay hydrated. That means drinking a small glass drink of water every thirty minutes while in the air. If you are on a long-haul flight, you may consider packing some electrolyte powder in your carry-on.
Move (as much as you can). Getting the blood flowing is a great way to stave off the aches and pains of flying. Besides walking up and down the aisle, try doing some stretching and isometric exercises in your seat.