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Is there Danger in frequent, long-distance travel?

 Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Courtesy Tony Webster and Wikimedia.


We've all heard stories of people who develop deep vein thrombosis (DVTs) while flying.  The lack of leg mobility puts individuals prone to developing blood clots at risk because blood pools in the legs when sitting for hours on end.  This stasis of blood can result in the clotting mechanism being activated and clots forming in the veins.  A piece of blood clot breaking off from the leg and move to the lungs.  Small clots are not too serious, but a large clot may be fatal.


A  new article from the Journal of Environment and Planning reports that in the "hypermobile", such as frequent long distance business travelers, there are serious consequences that may develop physiologically, emotionally and socially.  Besides jetllag, sleep and emotional disruption, there are serious health issues that may develop.  One example is that the stress of hypermobility supresses the immune system.  


Another finding that is a little alarming is the very high incidence of "subclinical" DVT after extremely long flights.  10% of people, if carefully examined, show signs of DVT, although few develop symptoms.  The authors conclude more study is needed


So when on a long flight, get up and move around.  Pump your legs and calves to get that blood moving! 


More on this story from at this link.



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  • Stockholm Arlanda Airport.  Courtesy Tony Webster and Wikimedia.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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I read about this in the Daily Mail and while I believe there are some medical reasons  frequent flying can be dangerous, it failed to show the positives about travel.


 I too was not convinced about their emotional claims . I found the opposite  in my life.


"The researchers discovered that new friendships and romantic relationships forged through mobility have a tendency to be situational, expendable and short-lived"


"The study found that loneliness and isolation are common among frequent travellers, despite the fact it increases the opportunity to meet new people."


If you want a thing done, ask a busy man.

I think this study focused on the frequent long distant travelers -- say those who travel to and from Europe and North America every week.  That intensity of traveling and disruption of biorhythm can definitely take its toll.


The vacation traveler, who goes on a few trips a year, is not the focus of this study.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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