Sitting for several hours in a seat on a plane, coach, train or car has been linked to the possibility of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the legs. With the seat cushion pressing on the back of your thighs the blood will want to remain in your lower legs. This may cause stiffness, joint pain, swelling and fever. It also increases the odds that a blood clot could form in the veins. If this clot breaks free it can lodge in the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism that could result in health problems or even death.
The risks are small for most healthy people but some airlines now have warnings about deep vein thrombosis and offer tips on how to avoid it.
Here are some tips:
Keep hydrated drink lots of water, avoid coffee, tea, alcohol.
Wear compression socks.
Avoid salty food.
Move around the aircraft cabin occasionally booking an asile seat makes this easier.
If your legs are short place your carry on under your feet after take off.
Here are some factors that would indicate a higher risk of developing deep vein thrombosis:
- If you have had DVT before or if DVT runs in your family.
- If you have recently undergone surgery.
- If you have varicose veins.
- If you are obese
- If you are dehydrated.
- If you smoke.
- If you are pregnant.
- If you are undergoing estrogen therapy.
- If you are older than 40.
If you have circulation problems, a history of blood clots you should consult your doctor.
James Lim says
I suffer from two of the high risk factors. I hope I never have to go on a pance trip longer than 10 hours.