Well ,everything seems to expand at altitude,feet,waistline,organs,...I have noticed that my ding_a_ling seems to grow a couple of inches,whether that is just wishfull thinking or just that my eyeballs have bloated as well...I just don't know.
I thought I'd drunk too much but there really are X's everywhere has PPRuNe gone x rated perhaps?
I'm fairly sure my nether regions have started glowing after these few years in the air. Couldn't tell you if it was cosmic radiation or a captain who doesn't like me turning the weather radar on when I am doing the walk around though. Maybe I will have mutated children who can control magnetic fields with their minds and such. X Men you might say - oh look an X again....
Seriously I hear a lot of health related issues from all crew but in fairness I don't think many of them are specific to the job. Back injuries are fairly prevalent where we ignore the training because we are human and telling the 90 year old dear she has to put her own bag up is not in the nature of most crew who are, by and large, people orientated.
There is some debate over cabin fumes in certain older types, I don't know enough to comment but I think a lot of the other things are not caused by flying alone. Cabin Crew have a quite physical job spending long shifts on their feet and those trolley's are not at all light or easily maneuverable which presents some risk I'd have thought. Radiation stuff though I think is a bit of a myth as the numbers really don't add up.
The biggest health risk though is probably the passengers (no I don't mean that in a rude way). Everyone onboard is a potential incubus of viral plague and current sickness policies often put ill crew off reporting sick as well. Proximity to so many people so often probably does increase your chances of catching some comunicable diseases I guess..... but personally I only get the average amount of colds etc in a year. They usually coincide nicely with my leave.
Anyway back to the vino which is the source of (and answer to) most of my problems
Oh and since changing from crew to flight crew I have gained weight - cabin crew seem to delight in feeding me up! I am now on the salads
As much as I love my job, being an aviation nut, I've found that flying almost every day absolutely exhausts me, and I have easily 'suffered' more illness than with other jobs I've had (may or may not be related to the rather notorious aircraft type I fly on ). There's also physical injuries which are kind of unavoidable in such a confined environment - the amount of people I've seen with injured feet, legs, etc from trolley accidents (inexperience, U/S equipment), people hitting their heads, muscle strains, etc.
The main thing that gets me is descent. 99% of the time I am absolutely fine, but on the odd day, even if I feel perfectly normal, I will get terrible ear pains and all the other discomforts associated with the pressure changes. Other people seem to adapt pretty well to all that, and most of the time I'm fine, but there's been a few instances where it's taken several days to get over it.
Male-34 years short and longhaul BA, 5 years independent. The first few years were a constant succession of colds, flu each year. Frequent headaches inflight, and bone-aching tiredness and fatigue. Busy months utterly, desperately fatiguing, and rather too occasional migraine headaches. After a few years, you really do get an immunity from the bugs. Effects of the job long term seem to be weight gain for pilots (inactivity and drinking), many female cabin crew (children and lack of time for exercise), and male cabin crew (drinking and lack of exercise), and divorce. Many pilots suffer gradual long term blood pressure problems, but that may be because the group is more closely monitored than the general population. Radiation effects do not seem more severe than general- I calculated as a longhaul crew I got up to about 5x normal population exposure
I do not feel airline crews suffer extraordinary health effects. I do monitor mortality amongst my former colleagues post retirement. Pilots do seem to exceed average population death ages. Most prevalent cancers appear to be skin melanoma, brain tumours, prostate, bowel (sedentary and lack of exercise), and of course the out of the blue heart attacks. You are not shortening your life doing this job, the weird hours/early starts/long working days do absolutely no detectable damage. What does make a massive difference is: 1- sensible, not excessive exercise 2- not smoking 3- keeping alcohol consumption under control 4- weight control 5- monitoring health (BP, blood, skin, digestion, lumps and other inside things- you know what)
Incidently, it's been calculated that the classic airline exercise -golf, is NOT beneficial health wise. Golfers have exactly the same mortality as the general equivalent population. It's thought the massive muscle contraction across the chest damages the heart to wipe out the freshair/walking benefits (which don't exist with motorised golf trolleys!). And give up squash after 40.
Quite simply, those 5 do it. It's not the job that is bad for you. It's being alive! Discussing concerns early is important and following through properly. I've been under BP treatment for 12 years. I have pituitary/hormone problems. I make the medics work for their money- my GP hides when I go in the surgery but I make sure they deliver the goods (me!).
Worried about the weight gain. At the moment i am struggling to fit in time to exercise but it is also because i am living in the boonies! I am hoping and assuming that most of the layover hotels have gyms? If i have access to a gym i will be in it...it's when i don't have access that getting my butt to do exercise sans equipment that i get slack.