Detrimental effects of west to east transmeridian flight on jump performance

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 May;112(5):1663-9. doi: 10.1007/s00421-011-2134-6. Epub 2011 Aug 28.


It is perceived that long haul travel, comprising of rapid movement across several time zones is detrimental to performance in elite athletes. However, available data is equivocal on the impact of long haul travel on maximal explosive movements. The aim of this study was to quantify the impact of long haul travel on lower body muscle performance. Five elite Australian skeleton athletes (1 M, 4 F) undertook long haul flight from Australia to Canada (LH(travel)), while seven national team Canadian skeleton athletes (1 M, 6 F) acted as controls (NO(travel)). Lower body power assessments were performed once per day between 09:30 and 11:00 h local time for 11 days. Lower body power tests comprised of box drop jumps, squat jump (SJ) and countermovement jumps (CMJ). The LH(travel) significantly decreased peak and mean SJ velocity but not CMJ velocity in the days following long haul flight. CMJ height but not SJ height decreased significantly in the LH(travel) group. The peak velocity, mean velocity and jump power eccentric utilisation ratio for the LH(travel) group all significantly increased 48 h after long haul flight. Anecdotally athletes perceived themselves as 'jet-lagged' and this corresponded with disturbances observed in 'one-off' daily jumping ability between 09:30 and 11:00 h after eastward long haul travel from Australia to North America when compared to non-travel and baseline controls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aircraft
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jet Lag Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Lower Extremity
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Travel