Here’s an interesting tip: travellers are being urged to take a tennis ball on long-haul flights – even if they’re not planning on playing a match at their destination.

We’re yet to try it, but a report out of the UK claims that running the tennis ball over your skin while flying can help keep blood flowing to the heart.

There’s no denying that long flights can often cause your feet to swell; muscles to tighten and the body to generally feel bloated and gassy.

And regardless of the mode of travel, sitting motionless for long periods may also increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in the muscles,

DVT is a serious issue and it’s also important to keep moving your legs – even when waiting in the airport terminal – wear compression stockings to put gentle pressure on leg muscles and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.


The tennis ball technique is a somewhat logical extension of the usual precautions,  according to the UK’s Daily Star newspaper.

The UK report suggests that the ball be rolled over areas of the body that become uncomfortable on a long trip.

Think about the soles of your feet, the small of the back, the ankles, legs and arms.

The Daily Star quotes consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Ali Ghoz, from the London Orthopaedic Clinic. as saying that massaging in this way could help boost circulation.

He also suggests massaging lower legs from the ankles upwards.

By pressing down slightly and moving the ball, you can soften knots and tight areas.

It all sounds feasible – and we’ll certainly give it a try.


We’re also great believers in  feet exercises and getting up and walking  down the airplane aisle at least once per hour.

See more tips:

Read a passenger’s experience of getting DVT.

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