By Claudine Ryan.
Holidays are almost here. If this year’s holiday involves international travel then there’s no avoiding a long-haul plane flight.
So this means jumping on a plane, plugging in your headphones and settling down to binge-watch hours and hours of inflight entertainment. It also means long hours sitting in the same seat and not moving around.
But have you ever wondered about the potential health issues that may arise when you spend that amount of time in a tin can at 20,000 feet?
Long flight times have always been the case for any travel to or from Australia. Some of these will be even longer once Qantas starts flying direct from Perth to London in 2018. (In what will be one of the longest flights in the world.)
There’s no doubt long-haul flights are a concern when it comes to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), says deputy director at Baker IDI Research Institute Professor Karlheinz Peter.
The longer the flight, the greater the risk. Any flight longer than four hours poses a risk, but it’s those longer than 12 hours that are most problematic, Professor Peter said.
One study found your risk steps up every two hours you’re in the air.
He says airlines should do more to make passengers aware of the risk.
“They should put much more emphasis on saying, ‘when you fly with us, especially these long-haul flights, then you should really look at mobilising and, in between, stretching’,” Professor Peter said.