In a trial of previously healthy patients who traveled at least 8 hours per flight (median duration 24 hours), duplex ultrasound showed an asymptomatic DVT in 10 % of participants. In other studies, the reported risk of symptomatic DVT after flights of more than 12 hours was 0.5%. According to a 2006 Lancet study, activation of coagulation occurs in some individuals after an 8-hour flight.
This Chicago Tribune article lists some useful in-flight exercises:
In-flight exercises for beginners
– Shoulder shrugs, shoulder rolls. Ten each.
– Short sets of bending and straightening the elbows and knees.
– Walk through the plane every two hours.
– March your knees up and down in your seat.
– Lift and lower your feet on tiptoes to work the calves.
Advanced In-flight exercises
– Neck stretches; hold on each side for 15 to 20 seconds.
– If you can find space (near an exit), work the core with yoga stretches. Pigeon pose — an intermediate move of folding one leg under the body while stretching the back leg out — is an in-flight favorite of hers.
– In your seat, lift your arms over your head, grip your hands together and lean from side to side for a few seconds on each side. Repeat.
– Walk the length of the plane every hour, incorporating deep lunges. Unless you want air marshals on your case, it might be wise to notify a flight attendant.
– Put a small flight pillow in small of back to keep posture upright.
Midair exercise makes for happier landings. Chicago Tribune, 10/2010.
Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith