The holidays bring plenty of cheer, happiness and good times spent with family, getting fat on turkey, ham and stuffing. But they also bring on some rough hurdles for our health thanks to our spending time with hundreds of strangers as we travel across the country and back again to see our loved ones. That’s why a group of researchers are exploring just how far that sneeze from the lady next to you can travel, carrying with it potential illness. Here’s what the power of a sneeze could mean for your health this season.

Two scientists, Dr. Lydia Bourouiba and Dr. John Bush from MIT wrote up a few equations to predict and describe the path of a sneeze. It incorporates physics and (sorry to be gross) fluid dynamics and gas expulsion predictions to account for the force of the sneeze. Finally, they got down to business and started testing their theories.

The small particles in the sneeze become suspended in a cloud, distributing relatively evenly across the span of a few centimeters. But the larger particles tend to concentrate in the middle of the sneeze.

Looks like if you don’t want to get sick, it’s still a good idea to stay far away from those who are. Our tips for staying healthy this season are as follows. Get plenty of vitamin C, make sure to make time for enough sleep and slurp up lots of hot liquids to keep everything flowing smoothly.

What do you think of this neat experiment? Cool or gross? Tell us below!