A professor of physiotherapy stepped up to help Quantas airlines strengthen its reputation for safety in the air by developing a video that teaches passengers in-flight techniques to head off the threat of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Qantas reports it has launched the exercise video on all its international flights.

According to a media release from the Melbourne, Australia-based Quantas, the video was developed by Professor Kim Bennell at the University of Melbourne Department of Physiotherapy. “These in-flight exercises are designed to provide a safe way to stretch and enjoy movement in certain muscle groups that can become stiff as a result of long periods of sitting. They may be effective at increasing the body’s blood circulation and massaging the muscles,” Professor Bennell states in the media release.

The 4-minute exercise video was reportedly developed by academics at the University of Melbourne in a partnership with Physitrack Limited, the Brighton-based mobile healthcare provider, and Sports Medicine Australia’s official exercise technology partner. Sports Medicine Australia has endorsed the exercise video.

“It came as a bit of a surprise international airlines hadn’t already introduced these exercise videos given what we know about DVT and long-haul travel. Hopefully, access to these videos will become standard on all international flights,” Bennell states in the media release.

Physitrack co-founder Nathan Skwortsow notes in the Quantas media release that stakeholders at the airline embraced the concept. “Shot in high definition from different angles, each clip shows the correct exercise technique to motivate Qantas’ many international travelers to keep moving during their flight.” In addition to being one of the safest airlines in the world, it is also great to see Qantas embracing exercise technology, even at 38,000 feet,” he said.

Sports Medicine Australia CEO Nello Marino said sitting still for long periods of time in cramped conditions, such as on an airplane, can lead to swollen ankles and occasionally DVT. “Whilst the risk of DVT is extremely low, it is always important to take preventive measures as the threat is always there,” he said. “Through simple, regular stretching, mobility exercises, and walking around the cabin mid-flight, your risk of DVT is dramatically reduced.”

[Source: University of Melbourne Media Office]