Keeping The Airline Industry Workers Moving

  • Chiropractor
  • back pain
  • February 16, 2021

Read Time: 8 minutes Airline workers can experience muscle strain and injury due to excessive standing and sitting. Stretching and exercise may help.

Airline Industry Workers Face Unique Workplace Hazards

Airline employees including pilots, flight attendants, and ground crew members experience distinct obstacles that can lead to on-the-job injuries. Pilots and flight attendants, specifically, can experience musculoskeletal injuries due to traveling in confined spaces, limited mobility, and strain on joints and muscles.

Keeping The Airline Industry Workers Moving

In for the long haul

A single international flight can be 10-15 hours long. Even domestic flight times add up over time leaving the body worn out. Luckily, regular stretching and good posture can go a long way in preventing workplace injuries. Tasks ranging from loading luggage to prolonged sitting or standing can cause undue stress on nerves, tendons, muscles, and more.

Preparing before boarding the plane

Before a work shift begins, airline industry employees should perform stretches to prevent in-flight injuries. Pilots and flight attendants can benefit from regular exercise outside of the aircraft. Being in optimal physical shape can strengthen muscles needed during the flight and improve overall flexibility.

Risks of prolonged seating

Improper posture while sitting can put pressure on the lower spine. Sitting for long periods of time can also compress blood vessels in the legs, which can lead to blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Moving around for a few minutes while seated or standing every hour or more can reduce airline-related pain. Even moving about the cabin and walking down the aisles can do wonders for the body.

In-flight exercises to keep the body limber

Injuries can occur when an airline worker is bending over, lifting, or carrying passenger luggage, as well as sitting or standing for long periods of time. Uncomfortable postures in a confined space can lead to pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, and stiffness in muscles, and tendons. In order to prevent injuries, try these easy in-flight stretches in a sitting position.

1. Ankle circles

Lift both feet off the floor and draw circles with toes. At the same time, move one foot clockwise and the other counterclockwise. After at least 15 seconds, reverse directions and repeat if needed.

2. Knee lifts

Lift one leg with knees bent and thigh muscles contracted. Alternate legs as needed. Repeat this exercise as often as needed for each leg.

3. Foot pump

With both heels on the floor, point both feet upward as high as possible. Then, put both feet flat on the floor. Lift both heels while the balls of the feet remain on the floor. Repeat this process in one continuous motion as needed.

4. Neckroll

With shoulders relaxed, drop one ear to a shoulder and delicately roll the neck back and forward. Hold each position for at least 5 seconds and repeat as needed.

5. Knee to chest

Bend forward slightly and grasp hands around the left knee hugging it to the chest. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds while keeping the hands around the knee. Gently let it down and alternate legs.

6. Shoulder roll

Hunch the shoulders forward, then upward, then backward, and downward in a delicate circular motion.

7. Forward flex

Keep both feet on the floor and the stomach held in. Slowly bend forward and walk both hands down the legs down to the ankles. Hold this stretch for at least 15 seconds and gently sit back up.

Chiropractic care

Stretching and flexing muscles will help prevent an injury and regular and many people find regular chiropractic provides better movement and flexibility. With little room to perform exercises on the aircraft, many flight attendants make visiting a chiropractor a key part of their routine. Preventative movement and stretches in the workplace will effectively reduce the chance of experiencing lifelong pain.

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