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Staying Fit & Healthy

  • Refer to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s guidance on eating & drinking safely.
  • The NHS also has an informative booklet 'Health Advice for Travellers' (t7.1)  that gives information about how to get medical treatment abroad and the services you can expect to receive from a number of EEA counties and other parts of the world that have reciprocal health care agreements with the UK. The document can be accessed at this website www.dh.gov.uk. In addition the NHS website is a good place to start if you need advice on general healthcare abroad.
  • Carry a basic First Aid kit with you. These are available from Occupational Heath and larger chemists such as Boots.
  • If you have an ongoing medical condition that requires regular medication, take sufficient for your trip and enough for a few more days. Ensure that you take the original packaging and any other further details (such as a letter from your doctor for unusual conditions) that will help a healthcare professional identify the medication should the need arise. Don't forget to take medication that you may require on an irregular basis such as an asthma pump.
  • If you wear contact lenses, take a spare pair and/or glasses.
  • Drink bottled water, especially in countries where it is advised. This may mean, in certain countries, when brushing teeth.
  • If the water is unsafe where you are steer clear of ice-cubes and any food which is likely to have been washed in water  (e.g. salad). This is not normally necessary in international hotels but be wary when dining out.
  • Make sure you eat/drink healthily and exercise if possible, to maintain general good health. Follow advice regarding what to eat/not to eat where you are.
  • Take care when carrying your luggage, to avoid straining your back. If you have back problems consult your line manager before travelling – carrying luggage as well as university equipment (e.g. banners) might be a requirement of your job so this will need to be addressed in advance.
  • Refer to the University’s Manual Handling Policy.
  • The University’s insurers – Zurich – have partnered with security experts red24 and medical experts CEGA Group Services to provide a comprehensive range of security, travel and medical assistance services. The Travel Health Advisory service (you will need to enter code 8888 to access the Travel Health Advisories section of the website) includes articles on travel-related diseases and ailments as well as country-specific information on health concerns and vaccinations.

Flying Health Tips

To help ensure a comfortable flight and reduce the risk of health problems take the following precautions:  

  • wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes, avoid crossing your legs while seated; 
  • get up from your seat and walk up and down the aisle at least once an hour; 
  • drink plenty of water during the flight (one or two glasses an hour is a good guide) and avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages and salty foods; 
  • keep the space under the seat in front of you empty so you can exercise your feet and ankles occasionally; 
  • wash your hands regularly during the flight as you may come into contact with contaminated surfaces whilst moving around the cabin; 
  • during the flight, particularly while taking off and landing, suck sweets, swallow, or hold your nose, close you mouth and try to blow  (this will equalise the pressure and help avoid ear and sinus pain).

Sun Health Tips

Ensure that you take suncream with a high protection factor. Even if it's cloudy, protect yourself from harmful UV rays and reapply it every couple of hours and don't forget to protect your ears, lips, hair parting and the tip of your nose with sunblock. Stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the rays are at their most damaging and drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids to balance the loss of body fluid through perspiration

Disabled travellers

Travel can be challenging for everyone but it can be more so if you have a disability. If you have a declared disability the university has certain legal obligations in relation to your wellbeing. You should discuss your travel plans in relation to your disability with your line manager. You should also read the FCO’s advice for disabled travellers.