We understand relatively little about flight attendant health compared to other professions. Yet—flight attendants experience significant exposures on the job: long work hours, frequent time zone changes, air pressure changes, awkward positions and lifting in tight spaces, turbulence, disrupted sleep rhythms, cosmic radiation, exposure to infectious disease, and psychological demands due to customer demands and need to be vigilant about safety conditions.
Our longitudinal study collects data to help understand how occupational exposures impact the health of flight attendants over time. We are a group of researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, led by Dr. Eileen McNeely, implementing an in-depth investigation to ensure the welfare of cabin crew worldwide.
With the support of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), we first launched our survey in 2007, asking U.S. flight attendants about their medical history, job, and overall well-being. Since then, we have recruited over 12,000 participants in two waves from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. This vast response has made a monumental impact in helping us understand flight attendant health over the last decade.
We are now on our 3rd wave and have officially launched our online survey as of July 31st!
Learn more about the survey and take it here: https://www.fahealth.org/harvard-study-3/
You might wonder, “Why are we doing this study again?” The answer is that we want to understand health impacts associated with long-term exposure. To adequately assess this, we need to ask flight attendants questions every few years to understand how their health is changing in relation to their environment. As interest in our survey is growing worldwide, this time around we are catering our audience to an international base, so we can understand how these trends are spread globally.
We read your comments and will be addressing popular questions of interest.
As part of this blog, we hope to shed light on these flight attendant health topics including, but not limited to:
- Respiratory issues/air quality
- Sleep patterns/exhaustion
- Hearing loss
We hope this blog serves as a resource for you, so check back in periodically to learn more!
Our research is ongoing and we look forward to working with you to ultimately make changes in the flight attendant occupation for overall better health and well-being.
We care about your health and want to learn more about your story. If you would like to share your experiences as a flight attendant on our website, please contact Dr. Irina Mordukhovich via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Twitter @FAHealthStudy
✈ -Fly healthy- ✈