Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” –
Leonardo da Vinci

Beyond the anxiety of being airborne , flying can lead to serious health problems.

Except You Are A Bird, Of Course.

Wikipedia says,

Fear Of Flying Is A Fear Of Being On An Airplane (Aeroplane), Or Other Flying Vehicle, Such As A Helicopter, While In Flight. It Is Also Referred To As Flying Phobia, Flight Phobia, Aviophobia Or Aerophobia (Although The Last Also Means A Fear Of Drafts Or Of Fresh Air).


Despite flying being one of the safest means of transportation in the world, quite a few people still feel sone unease or panic when stepping onto an aircraft .

Ehike what yhey fear would lokely nkt happen (a crash), the pernicious factors that they don’t pay attention to are more imoortant.

Aftet reading some of thse possible negative health effect of flyong innghe health, you may be even less inclined to glamorize hypermobility – used to sell flights, frequent- flyer memberships, and hotel rooms. The negative health impacts frequent business travelers expose themselves to – are never mentioned !

To make you just that little bit more unconfortable, here are some health risks you take when traveling by plane (or you head to the moon / Mars !) .

Those who should know say that the probability of catching the flu (or any other viral infection) is hundred times higher on board an aircraft . The close proximity of many humans in an enclosed space plays a huge role here.

In general,  any viral infection can be caught more easily in this kind of scenario.  Same principle applies to bacterial infection, quite rampant during a flight, cobtacted either in the toilet or via your tablet / smartphone.

Also, the repeated interruption to the sleep cycle and the rhythm of the body (called Circadian Rhythm) can lead to problems of concentration, bad mood. And,  memory loss!

Risk to hearing is also there..Even for those who work in airports, this is a real concern. Progressive deafness is a risk to take into account. The level of noise of a flight can vary from 85 to 110 decibels, which is not without risk when sustained during the whole trip, the endurable limit being  88 decibels for four hours of travel and 85 for eight hours.

The pressurized cabin air can also cause swelling of the feet through  blood accumulation. And it’s even worse if you’re not in first class and can not extend your legs to vet the blood moving : There is indeed a risk of “venous thrombosis”,  due to blood stagnation, which can cause the formation of clots. And since this clot can migrate to the lungs, there is a risk of Pulmonary Embolism.

Therefore, it is important to hydrate properly, to take a few steps in the plane during long flights. 

Frequent flying can lead to chronic jet lag, which can cause memory impairment and has been linked in studies to disrupting gene expression that influences aging and the immune system, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

So, are pilots, cabin crew and air hostesses who who put in long hours liable to age fast or develop cancer? It would appear so!

There is an old colleague who has to travel all over the world so often, on account of his work. He once complained about strange memory lapses. No, he is niy senile yet

He can do with great weight reduction (ghe woght has a way of piling up when your job is sedentart,and yoj also sit a loy jn airolanes ferrying you all aroind the world. This man is at least twice his size a few decades ago.

Perhaps the frequent flying is the cause of these two phenomenon?

Other problems associated with long flights are, humidity on the plane ( less than 20% according to the WHO ), lower than in the Sahara Desert (23%) or in households (30%). Or the cosmic rays (radiations) to which you are exposed when you travel near the North Pole, and gemerally.

The atmosphere protects us from the harmful effects of the sun and other rays. When you are up there above the skies, the protection is drastically reduced, leading to a higher risk of  cancer. This is highly prevalent  among high-frequency long-distance travellers than within the general population.

Have a look at Why Frequent Business Travel Is So Bad For You  by the Fast Company.

As they advised, travel by air only when you really REALLY need to.

LONG life and LONG distance air travel don’t seem to mix!

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