Skins are “gradient compression garments” that are worn by professional athletes around the world while flying. They are “body-molded, engineered, gradient compression garments with BioAcceleration Technology(TM) [which] combine sports and medical science, patented designs and the best in smart fabric technology.” Skins are designed to accelerate blood flow and have been proven through independent research to enhance power, endurance and muscle recovery.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. What the hell does this have to do with business travel. Right?
A lot, actually.
Skins are worn during flight to help combat the ugly symptoms of jetlag. Athletes wear Skins so they’ll be ready to go as soon as they get off the plane. Can you imagine how much better your business trips would go if you didn’t feel like you’d been put through the ringer after a long flight? Especially those of you whose business travels take you over an ocean pretty often.
The claim is that Skins can help you feel more alert, focused and ready to go as soon as you step off the plane.
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How exactly is this supposed to help? A recent study by the Australian Medical Journal found that wearing Skins improves circulation in-flight while decreasing leg pain and increasing energy and alertness. If you feel better onboard, then you’ll certainly feel better after the flight. Who were the test dummies? Twenty-two Quantas pilots and twenty five passengers. Every test subject spent more than five hours on the aircraft. Now, pilot seating and first class seating is a little more roomy than people crammed in coach to say the least. Unfortunately, my source did not include information on where exactly the passengers were seated on this flight.
Researcher Melissa Hagan ran the show on this experiment. She was concerned primarily with the effects of flying on ankle swelling. Which pertains to athletes much more than us. But the research also documented participant ratings on leg pain and discomfort, energy levels, alertness, ability to concentrate and post-flight sleep.
– Ankle swelling was reduced by approximately 20 mm
– Leg pain was reduced by 60%
– Leg discomfort was reduced by 50%
– Leg swelling was reduced by 45%
– Energy level was increased by 18%
– Alertness level was increased by 13%
– Ability to concentrate was increased by 12%
I have to wonder what the implications could be of the supposed increased circulation on incidents of DVT. Could this help people who are at risk?
“Athletes consistently purchase and wear Skins(TM) while traveling, remarking how much better they feel post-flight because of it,” explains Patricia Babka, General Manager for Skins(TM) USA. “With their statements being confirmed by commercial airline pilots and published in a world-respected medical journal, business travelers and the general traveling-public will also now realize the tremendous benefit of wearing Skins(TM) in-flight,” Babka continues.
I haven’t tested this product myself, but anything that makes flying less painful is a big hit in my book. Those of you who fly long haul flights often and have to go immediately to work may want to check them out.
To find a retailer or learn more about Skins, go to skins.net. For the complete study from the Australian Medical Journal, visit mja.com.au/public issues/188_02_210108/hag10558_fm.html