If you fly long distances you may need to be concerned about a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Deep vein thrombosis can occur after you’ve been inactive for a long period of time and the blood circulation in your extremities, especially your legs, has decreased. Decreased circulation can allow blood clots to form, and DVT can become potentially dangerous if the blood clots break away and travel to your lungs, heart, or brain, blocking important veins and possibly causing heart attack or stroke.
You can prevent DVT by snacking, which increases the oxygen levels in your body and therefore increases circulation, and by moving as much as possible during long flights. Walk around the plane, if allowed, or at the very least flex your legs every so often and shift your position in your seat. Also, you should limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine that you consume.
The risk of DVT is gaining attention from medical experts and airline officials as a CNN.com/HEALTH article reported in March. Read the article, “Deep Vein Thrombosis Linked to Most Travel.”