I am a student who use public transportation. I usually spend 2 hours a day on the bus going to work, and use this time to study or just relax reading something.

But the movement make me feel very sick.

Are there any tricks to avoid feeling sick when reading in a moving vehicle? I want to continue using this time to read.

  • 3
    Note: Sometimes the sickness is something you won't be able to get rid off, this was my case. So I just avoid reading while on a vehicle.
    – Just Do It
    May 12, 2016 at 14:37
  • I get this too, but mine isn't too bad. So I'm able to read for 10 minutes, take a few minute long break, and read again. May 12, 2016 at 21:28
  • 1
    chewing gum can be a temporal and easy solution
    – Wha2wear
    May 13, 2016 at 6:30

8 Answers 8


Have you tried ginger? It's something that actually helps with my motion sickness.

Ginger supplements or ginger candy, taken 30-60 minutes before the daily trip could do wonders. And it's actually Mythbusters tested and approved (Small sample size, so YMMV).

  • 4
    Now I did! Thank you so much. I tried to chew some before taking the bus, read the whole time, and didn't feel sick.
    – salt3g
    May 14, 2016 at 10:54

You won't be able to avoid it, I'm afraid - in sensitive people, it's caused by a mismatch in the information the brain receives - the movement causes messages to be sent from your ears and certain receptors in the neck to your brain that you're moving, but the eyes are sending an opposing message, that is, you're not moving. And in some people, that causes nausea. The only way to avoid it is not to read, and actually, the way to never feel sick on buses, cars and coaches is to always look through the front window, at where you're going, or out the back window, where you've been. Looking out the side windows can cause nausea too. Sadly, I speak from experience....

  • The nausea was useful back when our ancestors climbed down the trees: A mismatch of sensory information (like here where the ear detects a movement and the eye sees something else) was often caused by some kind of poisoning, e.g. bad food or berries. And in this case, getting rid of them again really makes sense.
    – Stephie
    May 12, 2016 at 18:52
  • @Bamboo try some ginger, it worked for OP
    – Kiwu
    Jun 2, 2016 at 7:39
  • @Kiwi, well thanks, but I've tried ginger, barley sugar, acupressure wrist bands and a soft neck brace over the years. Neck brace worked best, but not something you want to wear all the time. I just don't read on journeys, except trains, which have never caused this problem for me.
    – Bamboo
    Jun 2, 2016 at 12:03
  • Though in my case it is only minor sickness, I have found that at least taking short breaks every once in a while helps. I had 45 Minute bus rides to School so i would read some book i checked out from the library. So long as I spent 5-20% of my time looking out the window, i never got sick. Having to look out the window constantly was not a requirement to not get sick. It may have helpd that i was reading for Fun and got engrossed in the book, but so long as i took breaks to let my eyes see the movement, I never got sick.
    – Ryan
    Jun 2, 2016 at 18:09

Where you sit in the bus can make a big difference. But the optimal position depends on the person. Some people say to sit as close to the front as possible, but to always face forward, never to the side or backwards.

However, for me, I found that I get less motion sick while reading if I sit on one of the forward facing seats over one of the rear wheels.

  • 1
    indeed. If I sit on the front, I don't feel as sick.
    – salt3g
    Jun 3, 2016 at 16:08

You could take motion sickness pills if you want to get rid of the feeling completely, however I'm not sure if that would be your best choice if you are experiencing this problem every single day.

I have motion sickness as well. Usually standing up on the bus helps, make sure you don't ride bus on empty stomach. Another trick to reduce the sickness is to not look down and try to look at farther objects like buildings and hills rather than sidewalks. Don't try to focus your attention on anything inside the bus, you need to look out of the window. Avoid sitting in the back of the bus also helps. Definitely don't read anything or keep looking down to check your phone.

  • those are helpful advices. But it really sucks having 2 hours of pure boredoom. I guess the only productive thing I can do is listen to podcasts.
    – salt3g
    May 12, 2016 at 18:59

It's a common occurrence when people lack compound vision and are less tolerable to ambiguity. If you do have ocular differences try looking up "Anisometropia Ambliopia" this can be fixed with contacts as glasses are further and create discrepancies.

This is my idea as it only seems to be when your reading , but your not alone I have the same );


Motion sickness usually happens when look out the side window in a moving vehicle. It is caused by perceptual differences between the senses. If reading in a vehicle make sure that your focus is on the page and not your surroundings . This should minimize the effect.


I've encountered the same thing, and have noted this seems to be more prevalent in situations where 1) I am unfamiliar with the travel route and/or 2) there are lot's of twists and turns.

You have the advantage in that your commute to/from school will typically follow the same route each time. The key, I've found, is to first become familiar with the route: where are the sharp turns, steep inclines or declines ... and where are the frequent stop and start sections. You'll know you are "familiar" with where these things are in your route if you can successfully sleep through the trip yet still wake up in anticipation of ... say a stop or two before ... your stop! ;-) This happens because your body has learned to subconsciously anticipate and acknowledge where and when those changes in the travel direction will occur.

Once you've mastered your route you can successfully read without becoming motion sick. You may have to pause to look up and just watch the road during the tricky areas (sharp turn, steep incline/decline, frequent stop and go), but should be able to resume reading during the rest of the trip without the motion sick feeling.

Hope this is helpful!


We used to avoid seasickness by drinking half a beer before sailing, not sure how practical that would be for your situation.

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