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Why do feet swell in airplanes?


When I travel in a plane my feet swell up. How can I stop this?

5209 day(s) ago

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NotEinstein
It would seem that there must be some mysterious and complicated reason why some peopleís feet swell on an airplane, but the reason is actually very simple. Many people believe that it has to do with air pressure, the speed of the plane, or gravity, but scientific studies have ruled out all of these factors. The only reason why feet swell on an airplane is because we are sitting down and inactive for a long period of time. If your feet swell on an airplane, next time you go for an hours long car ride, your feet will swell then too. The reason why this happens during travel is that, for most people, this is the only time we are sitting for extended periods of time in a constricted environment. Many people report their feet swelling at the movies too. Often, however, the condition requires several hours to set in.

When we are immobile, our circulatory system isnít working as well as when we are standing or in movement. This causes blood and water to fall into our feet and gather there. The more cramped we are, the worse the swelling can be. Doctors recommend a minimum of 40 inches of leg space to remain healthy and comfortable. Coach seating on an airplane only gives us 28 to 31 inches. Medically speaking, this condition is called phlebitis. Phlebitis, in a worst case scenario, can turn into the more serious deep-veined thrombosis if blood clots should form.

To help control swelling in an airplane it is recommended to get up from your seat and walk around every hour or so. You can also do exercises in your seat such as flexing your ankles and rotating your feet in circles. It also helps to stay hydrated, so drink plenty of water before the flight.


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