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Friday 28th October 2016

Flying bad for cabin crew

30th March 2007

Airline cabin crew are being warned that their jobs could be bad for their health.

A new study by scientists at Liverpool John Moores University, has found that those who frequently fly long haul risk suffering a range of health problems. The researchers studied over 500 articles on aviation and health and concluded that regular air travel has a negative affect on a person’s health. Flight staff reported a variety of health problems including menstrual irregularities, gastrointestinal illnesses, mental health problems and psychotic episodes. Jet lag and its negative effects on sleep patterns and hormonal rhythms is being blamed for causing these health problems. It is estimated that the number of days it takes to recover from jet lag is equal to two thirds of the time zones crossed for eastbound flights and half the time zones crossed for westbound bound flights.

Leading researcher, Professor Jim Waterhouse, said, "Such effects have not been reported in healthy travellers whose experience of time zone transitions is far less extensive than those who regularly travel long distances." Professor Waterhouse suggests cabin crew avoid too much contact with light as they arrive at their new destination to help the body adjust slowly to the new time zone. He also recommends drinking coffee and taking exercise to help stay awake but advises that those staying fewer than three says at their destination should attempt to remain on ‘home time’.

A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority responded to the survey by saying, "We are not aware that long-haul pilots have any higher incidences of psychotic disorders or major affective disorders than the general population."


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