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Staying healthy during flights to Australia

Australia is in many ways a unique country, a continent set apart from the rest of the world in more ways than mere physical proximity. That being said, for most of us it is a long way away! For the northern European set on exploring Oz on a budget, the cheap flights to Australia provided by operators can make reaching the other side of the world a financial possibility. However, the monetary benefits of taking cheap flights to the beautiful city of Sydney Australia come at the cost of travelling in a reduced space, when compared to taking the business class option. This has lead to a popular misconception that long haul travel on budget airlines carries more health risks than travelling business class. Thousands of people take cheap flights to Australia every year without experiencing any health problems, but the fact remains that spending around 24 hours in a plane carries certain health risks if you are not adequately informed – and as we'll see, this can apply to both the budget end of the market and the VIP. Here we'll take a closer look at just what the health issues are, and how to avoid any problems.

The main health risk is a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In recent years, there has been some coverage of DVT in the media which has highlighted the problem, but many people are still a little confused as to the nature and more importantly the causes of the condition. The assumption that air travel is in itself a causal factor is the most common misconception.

The most important point to grasp is that DVT is caused by immobility, not being in an airplane. DVT is essentially a circulation problem. An extended period of sitting without moving, such as you can experience on a long haul flight, can produce the right conditions for DVT. And so the simple solution is that you have to keep moving.

This means rotating the ankles, and getting out of your seat for a walk up and down the aisle from time to time. Stretching also helps, which is perhaps why the reduced leg space available on low cost flights has been identified by some as a problem. The simple fact is that standing and stretching on a regular basis can keep your circulation moving, and this is something that is possible regardless of the cost of your seat.

Following the media attention on DVT in recent years, anti-DVT socks are now available off the peg in many airports and other outlets. However, it is very important to first consult a physician for a proper fitting before using anti-DVT socks. According to leading medical experts, poorly fitted off the peg versions may actually cause more harm than good. As with most things medical, DIY is simply not the safe option.