How to Avoid Sore Throats & Colds on Public Transport
- Wash your hands regularly ‐ Washing your hands regularly including after a trip on the train or bus, is the simplest and best way to avoid getting sick. When you are in close contact with sick people or contaminated objects on your commute such as bus or train metal poles, hand straps or stair rails, you may accumulate germs on your hands and in turn infect yourself by unknowingly touching your nose, mouth or eyes. Washing your hands with soap and water will help reduce the risk of illness. An alcohol based sanitiser, kept in your handbag, is a convenient alternative.
- Choose the least crowded area ‐ You may be able to reduce your exposure to germs by choosing the least crowded part of the bus, train or tram, or by avoiding travel during peak periods.
- Avoid being close to sick people – If possible, avoid sitting near people who are recognisably sick.
- Walk to and from the station – Fit more exercise into your day by getting off the bus or train one stop early and walking the rest of the way. Several studies have found that people who exercise on a regular basis experience significantly less respiratory tract infections such as the common cold, than those who don’t.2 One of the most common causes of a sore throat is a cold; consequently avoiding a cold reduces the occurrence of a sore throat.3
- Keep up your fluids and consider lozenges – The low humidity in some forms of transport can irritate the mucous membranes of the throat, so keep up your water intake on long trips and have lozenges on hand to keep your throat moist and ease a sore throat.
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