Researchers Say Window Seats Are Best for Avoiding the Flu

Mar 20, 2018

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The research is in, and if you want to avoid getting sick on a plane, you should choose the window seat.

According to a new study released Monday from Emory University, the best thing to do if you don’t want to catch a bug on a flight is to “get in that window seat and don’t move,” Vicki Stover Hertzberg, the study’s lead researcher, says.

To gather the data, teams of researchers flew all over the US and tested the air and surfaces in the flight cabin to identify hotspots for germs and viruses. The results found that the 11 people most at risk for getting sick were those sat immediately around an infected passenger (the two people to the left, the two to the right and the people in the rows directly in front and behind).

The research team also found that 80% of people sitting on the aisle got up during their flight, while 62% of people in a middle seat got up and only 43% in window seats did.

Some critics of the study, which was funded by Boeing Co., say the small sample group makes it difficult to apply to results to all flights and airplanes, especially when considering other illnesses commonly spread through travel like measles and tuberculosis.

Regardless, this is one of the first studies examining passenger interactions and germs in-flight, and if you are extra cautious about not catching the cold or the flu, opt for that window seat.

H/T: The Associated Press

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