Why your feet and ankles swell after a flight

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If youve ever slipped your shoes off during a long flight, you may have noticed that it’s merely a little bit harder to squeeze back into them on arrival. That’s because it’s extremely common for feet and ankles to swell a condition technically known as gravitational oedema when you fly. Its also a typically harmless phenomenon.

The fact is, you have just been sitting too long and all the liquids( i.e. blood) in your body have sunk to your feet. The consequence should only last for a short time, and dissipates shortly after you walk off the plane.

Its easy to alleviate or avoid foot and ankle swelling during a flight, too. Wear loose clothes, drink plenty of water, and make an effort to walk around the cabin every hour.

If you’re stuck sitting with the seatbelt illuminate illuminated, flex and extend your ankles, knees and legs as much as possible. Avoid intersecting your legs, and pass on the alcoholic beverages or any other sedatives.

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