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Ready to Fly? Here's How to Avoid Germs

By Sara Butler

Flying is notorious for making people sick. Whether it's due to the fact that you must sit so close to others or because so many surfaces on an airplane are just so germy, the fact remains that steps must be taken when you fly to keep you healthy. Here are a few tips to help.


Airplanes are cleaned every day, but many viruses can live on surfaces for up to a day, so it's important to wipe down and sanitize the areas in your immediate vicinity. The areas to pay special attention to on the flight are:

  • Tray tables
  • Seat belt buckles
  • Armrests

Make sure to wash or sanitize your hands throughout the flight too, especially after using the restroom. It's also a good idea to not store things in the seat pocket in front of you. Those are hard to clean.

Grab a Window Seat

One of the best seats on an airplane is the window seat -- and not simply because you get a good view, but because you can avoid contact with passengers who may be sick. When sitting in an aisle seat, you're right next to people walking by, possible sneezing, coughing, or simply grabbing your headrest with contaminated hands. The point is, choose the window seat when you can. And maybe throw a little sanitizer on it.

Use the Air Vent

Studies have found that filters in airplanes do a great job of removing particles from the air, including the things that can make you sick. But you can go one step further by using the overhead air vent to control the airflow around you.

Put it on a low setting and create an air current that will encourage germs to move away from you. Aim for an inch or two away from your body and test it out by putting your hands in your lap and positioning it so you can feel the airflow there.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is important all the time, but especially when you fly. Humidity in airplane cabins is notoriously low -- as little as 10 percent once airborne. This dries out your mucous membranes and increases your chances of getting sick. Make sure to drink at least eight ounces of water per hour you're on the flight. Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol, which only serves to dehydrate you more.

Take care of yourself when you travel and start with these tips!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Orlando, Fla.

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