This is an area which the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC2006) has impacted on – but the Convention states only that consideration should also be given to sports equipment including exercise equipment, table games and deck games.
As such, there are no real requirements to provide a means of keeping fit – and that is reflected in many of the Seafarers Happiness Index reports. All too often, seafarers feel that regulations for newbuilds should include the provision of a gymnasium, and that MLC should be more strict in the requirements with regards to sports equipment.
For larger ships there is usually considered to be sufficient access to gym equipment and facilities, but those working on smaller vessels felt that there were often little or no opportunities to keep fit.
In previous reports, there have also been concerns about the design of vessels – and there is so much to be learned from seafarers who do not want sterile, unwelcoming or uncomfortable areas. They want to socialise, but need the right spaces and facilities to do so.