Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Heart Health Risk to Frequent Flyers

KLM pilot suffers heart attack during runway taxi at Glasgow Airport

A recent news item highlighted once again, the heart health risk associated with the frequent flying lifestyle.  

While cardiovascular disease is not exclusive to pilots and frequent flyers there are some facts about cardiovascular disease and flying worth  a mention.

Cardiac arrests have the highest percentage of deaths for any ailment on board flights. One study of medical emergencies over a 3 year period looked at data from 5 airlines and 12,000 passengers. Only 0.3 per cent suffered cardiac arrests. Of that percentage which is 38 people, 31 died. 

Risk factors include

  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight and obesity
  • A Poor diet*
  • Physical inactivity*
  • Excessive alcohol use*
*Note - Risk factors often common to frequent flyers of all walks of life.

As a frequent flyer what can you do about it? 

Awareness is a good starting point. Risk factors from flying need to be addressed by all flyers alongside or in the absence of reactive medical action, i.e. private medical insurance is not enough.

Flyers deserve a mixture of the right type of support from the usual channels of healthcare with a mix of preventative tools, in short flyers must place priority cardiovascular health through their own actions.

Did you know?
  • The constant pressurisation and depressurisation of the aircraft cabin can lead to a condition called Vascular Remodelling.
  • Vascular remodelling is part of the pathway that can lead to congestive heart failure if not dealt with.
  • Supplementation with D-Ribose is one way of addressing heart health.
  • Rhodiola is a herb useful for prevention of the deterioration of the endothelium, implicated in cardiovascular health.

Contact us at here to book an appointment, find out more about the healthy flying habit and get started on your road to beating jet lag whenever you travel.


Ps - Always work with your primary healthcare practitioner when making important health decisions.


Sunday, 4 December 2016

How to Series - Avoiding Noise Pollution at Altitude

An often overlooked aspect of healthy flying and jet lag is noise pollution.

The scale of noise pollution was made apparent to me once again when the door of a 747 aircraft I was on would not close properly. The Captain ended up cracking the offending door slightly and closing it again to get the problem resolved (which it did). The noise the cracking of the door let into the plane was phenomenal, even for me as a seasoned frequent flyer.

Noise pollution is a danger to flyers for the stress it causes and as a danger to our eardrums in particular.

Flying better and avoiding all types of stress that contribute to jet lag is a priority all flyers should take seriously.

Do This

Invest in the best quality noise-cancelling headphones you can afford, Bose seems to be the market leader here but there are other brands that do a decent job. This is a worthwhile investment, stretch your price point if you have to, most savvy frequent flyer do.

Lets Connect the Dots

How does noise pollution contribute to jet lag? It does so indirectly. As a factor always present when you fly noise pollution is a danger to the nervous system via the sympathetic nervous system of the body. Exposure to such high levels of noise are not normal or good for the body. Such noise causes stress which leads to acidity in the body. Acid build up is the foundation of what later becomes the start of desynchronisation of the body clock and in turn jet lag.

One of the most common complaints amongst cabin crew according to one study was the loss of hearing from a career in flying.

  • Noise pollution causes avoidable stress, avoid it whenever you can and protect your ears.
  • Not all headphones are created equal, I prefer Parrot Zik's which are noise cancelling and noise measuring with their proprietary free app.
  • Anything that increases stress when you fly increases the chances you will succumb to jet lag.

Disclaimer - I have no other interest in Parrot Zik headphones other than bringing tools that work to the attention of my audience. I receive no commission for this recommendation.