Every year, thousands of people spend hours at airports and flying. Each individual is likely to be carrying all kinds of shocking maladies with them. This alone is enough to make any regular flyer cringe. However, there is some good news; all flyers can avoid getting sick by following these simple healthy travel guidelines.
Your Neighbors Are Your Biggest Threat
Your biggest threat is those who are sitting or standing close to you. It does not matter if they are sitting or standing right behind or in front of you. The chances of your getting germs from those that are close to you are very high. The best thing for you to do in this situation is to defend yourself. How? By holding a tissue or handkerchief discreetly over your mouth and nose when you see someone nearby coughing.
Hands Should Always be Kept Clean
Keep your hands away from your eyes and mouth. Hand hygiene is one of the most important things to maintain and the surest way of avoiding germs.
Beware of the Wait
The risk of making contact with germs inside an airplane is greater than when you are just sitting at the gate. If an airplane does not have their air conditioning on, this can result in an influenza. If you begin to feel stuffy on the plane, ask the flight attendant to get the pilot to turn the air conditioning on. This is not only for your comfort but also for your safety,
Look Out For Touchy Spots
Beverages: Pay attention to lime wedges that are often used to serve drinks and for crew fingers in glasses. Ask them if it is OK for you to have your own. This will allow you to pour your drink yourself. The citrus should be passed back to them as more often than not, citrus will not be washed.
Tray Tables: Always clean the tray table before use with an alcohol wipe. Especially if the plane is going on a long trip.
SkyMall?: It is best to give this one a miss. Only use this if you can disinfect your hands right after you have finished reading it.
Magazines: Lots of people will have looked through the magazines on the plane. Always give your hands a clean if possible after use.
Most big modern aircraft contain air that has been filtered heavily. The high efficiency particulate air is designed to remove droplets that have viruses in them, remove fungi, vapors, dust and bacteria. This air in airplanes is re-circulated far more than what it is in office environments. Approximately 15 to 20 air exchanges every sixty minutes. The air in buildings is only re-circulated every 12 air exchanges every sixty minutes.
Keep Your Hands To Yourself When In Airports
You are more likely to pick up a virus in an airport than in an airplane. This is because of all of the door knobs, chairs, lines, hand rails and so on. Always keep an eye out for hotspot areas whilst you are getting to your gate. The security line is just one of these hotspots. Taking off shoes is a minimal risk for infections. It is best to wear socks as this will lessen your chance of stepping on damp areas. These damp areas will likely hold bacteria. X-ray bins however, are a different story. Be sure to limit hand-mouth contact as much as you can. Always wash your hands straight away after using these trays.
How to Stay Healthy When You’re Flying written by: jeremy82
The issue of how to stay healthy when you’re Flying is tricky and requires much precaution. Millions of people go through airports every year. They then proceed to board planes yet they have various illnesses. It is necessary that you make plans on how to stay healthy in order to prevent contracting any illnesses from those you board the same plane. According to Web MD, the air inside planes has less oxygen when it is at 8000feet above the ground. This causes labored breathing due to the pressure. Leslie Kaminoff a breathing therapist and yoga therapist in New York, the experience is similar to being up on a mountain. Therefore, the labored breathing is a cause of spread of germs when you are on a plane. As such, it is important to know how to stay healthy when you’re flying.
Neighbors on the plane are your biggest threat
The Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases published a study that proved this to be true. Anyone who sits directly behind you, in front of you or beside you can easily infect you with germs. Therefore, in case one of these neighbors is sneezing or coughing, ensure that you discreetly hold a handkerchief or tissue over your mouth and/or Nose every time they sneeze or cough. According to Abinash Virk, MD and researcher, at Mayo Clinic follow this procedure to protect yourself from any germs.
Caution during the wait
The risk of a respiratory viral infection is highest as you sit waiting at the gate before the plane takes off. This is especially so if the air conditioning is not turned on. Virk mentions that the FAA rules stipulate that the air conditioning should be on while the plane is at the gate. This stipulation is based on an influenza outbreak some decades ago. In case the plane feels stuffy, inform a flight attendant to ask the pilot to turn on the air conditioning. This is important for comfort as well as health reasons.
Be Cautious Of Any of These Sensitive Spots
Tray Tables: It is important that you use an alcohol wipe to sanitize the remotes and tray tables. In case you know that a plane has been used for a long trip, Virk advises that it is essential to do this.
Magazines: Try to avoid magazines, as you may not know how many passengers have flipped through them.
Beverages: Ensure that you check for lime wedges and crew fingers in glasses used to serve you drinks. Request for your own can and pour yourself the drink.
As mentioned earlier, breathing in a plane is harder due to the altitude. Additionally, it is also heavily filtered for most commercial modern aircraft. The filters help remove dust, bacteria, vapors, droplets that have viruses and fungi. The air is normally re-circulated about 15 to 20 times per hours. Kaminoff, a professional breathing therapist advises that you need to take easy, long, and deep breaths to avoid the labored breathing while on a plane. Kaminoff mentions that relaxed breathing is not sufficient when you are in a plane.
Do not touch things in the Airport
The risk of catching something is higher in airports compared to when you are thousands of feet above the ground in a plane. There are doorknobs, chairs, lines, and handrails among others. Therefore, when trying to get to your gate, Virk advises that you are cautious of touching these spots. Taking off your shoes is not match of a problem, apart from the fact that it may cause discomfort to others. Nonetheless, ensure you wear socks to protect yourself from damp places that may have bacteria. With these tips in mind, you are sure that you know how to stay healthy when you’re flying.
References: menshealth, webmd
Sourced from: menshealth