How Humidity can Affect Travel

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As much as we all enjoy the sunshine and warm weather, it can play havoc with our health when travelling in heat and humidity. Even though it’s officially autumn, the mild weather is still affecting passengers – especially when travelling by train, or on the underground.

Humidity can have some unpleasant effects on your body. Relatively minor heat disorders can include prickly heat, swelling of the feet, hands or legs, fainting and muscle cramps. More serious health issues include heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

These conditions can occur as a result of exposure to high temperatures over a period of time, causing a loss of fluids. Both heat exhaustion and heatstroke can become serious if they are not spotted and treated quickly.

Why does humidity affect us?

When the body becomes overheated, it cools down by dilating the blood vessels. This directs blood from the centre of the body towards the skin, causing sweating. Dehydration is likely to occur more rapidly in hot, dry conditions.

Humidity reduces the rate of sweat evaporation, which makes it hard to regulate the body’s temperature. Certain groups of people are more vulnerable to the effects of heat than others, such as elderly people, babies and children. People with pre-existing medical conditions may also be more affected by the heat.

Keep hydrated

If you’re travelling in hot weather, there are certain precautions you can take to prevent dehydration. The most obvious thing to do is to drink plenty of water on your journey to remain hydrated. Water becomes your best friend in extreme humidity. Keep drinking plenty of fluids until you arrive at your destination.

Wear light, loose, airy clothes to help keep cool. There’s nothing worse than feeling constricted by tight, uncomfortable clothing on a long journey in humid conditions.

Carry a battery-operated, hand-held fan and keep it concentrated on your face if you feel particularly hot and uncomfortable. These are great gadgets and are available in most supermarkets or chemist shops.

Air conditioning

If you’re lucky, you might be travelling on a service that includes air conditioning – such as by train, or on the underground. The temperature inside the train is a key factor in the overall passenger experience. On a hot, humid day, the feeling of sitting down in a cool, airy train carriage is blissful.

The heating and AC system ensures comfort for the passengers, no matter what the weather outside. It enhances the air quality on the train and stops passengers from suffering from the nauseous type of headache that extreme humidity can cause.

The ideal carriage temperature should be kept between 21ºC and 25ºC, with the aim of maintaining an average humidity of between 60% and 70%. As well as regulating the temperature, properly installed and maintained air conditioning will renew and improve the air quality.

LH-PLC helps to keep travellers cool and comfortable on Britain’s rail systems by providing professional railway air conditioning services.

Our state-of-the-art facilities, staffed by engineers with more than 30 years’ experience in the sector, combine to provide a service that’s second to none. Please contact us on 0208 947 0886 for further details of our products and services.

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