6 Ways Moving Can Make You Sick

This post was originally published on August 21, 2014. It was last updated on August 30, 2017

Moving is often exciting. Yet, a new place can mean making adjustments – many of them.  There are new weather patterns to accommodate for, new people you’ll be in contact with, and, more often than not, new illnesses to battle.  Here are some conditions and illnesses that may be awaiting your arrival as you get settled in your new city.

Here are 6 ways moving can make you sick as you get settled in your new home:

moving sick 300x200 6 Ways Moving Can Make You Sick Photo


Moving can make allergies worse in many ways. For example, according to Everyday Health, some cities are known for exacerbating allergies due to the amount of pollen, dust and mold in the area. Smog and car pollution in some big cities can also make this health problem worse, which is why you should take your allergies into account before you choose where to move.

You should also choose a home with HEPA filters on the cooling and heating system, as well as newer floors, cabinets and paint free of chemicals that could be irritating. Of course, during the move, you should try to avoid breathing in the dust as much as possible and have your allergy medication ready to use during the relocation process.

Read our care guides on home allergies and seasonal allergies for more information. 


If you have asthma, you might have similar concerns as those who have allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America suggests that you consider the weather of the area where you plan to move, keeping in mind that cold air can make asthma worse. In addition, dust mites and mold thrive in damp climates, while pollen might be more plentiful in dry areas. Keep your inhaler handy during the move in case you experience an asthma attack as you move boxes that might contain dust, mildew and other irritants.

Read our asthma care guide for more details.


Moving with arthritis can be difficult. Arthritis Today recommends that you start early so you can simply spend one hour each day packing. Keeping the proper posture is also important, which means changing your position about every 20 minutes and even using knee pads if you kneel while packing. Try to keep boxes smaller and lighter, and use dollies for big items. Of course, you can always hire movers or ask friends and relatives to help.

Learn more in our arthritis care guide.


According to The Washington Post, children – especially teenagers – are at risk for becoming depressed after a move. Studies show that self-injury, suicide attempts, and drug use tend to increase among teenagers who have recently moved compared to those who haven’t. The teenagers who fare best when it comes to relocating are the ones who receive lots of support, such as those in military families since they tend to have a sense of community that may help.

Read more about depression in our care guide.


Moving can be stressful for anyone, so it should come as no surprise that anxiety is one issue exacerbated by relocating. This is especially the case for elderly people with memory loss since they are being pulled away from familiar surroundings. According to The Merck Manual, moving-related anxiety can be reduced by making sure the person who is relocating is prepared, such as by touring the area and talking to new neighbors before moving in.

Sick Building Syndrome

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that sick building syndrome occurs when buildings are poorly maintained, causing occupants to exhibits symptoms that include headaches, dry skin, nausea, cough, dizziness, and fatigue, to name a few. The cause is usually poor ventilation, chemicals, radon or asbestos. If you notice you feel sick every time you walk inside your new home, it may be time to find out whether it is properly ventilated or contains certain irritants that affect your health.