Ah, economy class. The screaming toddler kicking your seatback, the joy of getting extra close to the passenger who’s reclined all the way into your lap—it’s enough to drive you into ordering an overpriced drink from the beverage cart. But that’s not such a bad thing, according to new guidelines issued by the American College of Chest Physicians.
CNN reports that neither dehydration, drinking alcoholic beverages, nor sitting in economy class will increase the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). DVT has been nicknamed “economy-class syndrome” due to the fact that sitting in a cramped economy seat with little legroom was believed to put people at a higher risk for blood clots.
So go ahead and book the cheapest seat and down a few cocktails—they won’t up your risk of blood clots. However, the study did find other factors that increase the risk, including: choosing a window seat, being very tall/short/obese, and not moving.
You can’t do anything about your height, but the key here is to move around. Therefore, even if you’re very comfortable in your first-class window seat, be sure to get up and walk around the cabin a few times (maybe back to that cocktail cart?). Wearing compression socks, moving around, and doing calf muscle exercises will all help prevent clots as well.
It’s also important to note that you don’t have to be up in the air to fall victim to this syndrome—anyone who sits for long periods, be it on buses, cars, or trains, is also at increased risk.
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