Q1 2020: Exercise Can be Good, Bad or Ugly

The latest Seafarers Happiness Report is a special focus on the impact of COVID-19 on seafarers. We did ask our usual set of questions…and here we find out the answer to the enquiry about…How happy about your ability to keep fit and healthy on board?

  • 6.50 down from 6.78

The issue of exercise onboard, and the ability to keep fit and healthy falls into three main categories, and the seafarers have a very distinct happiness profile. There are those who can access good quality gym provisions, and who feel they have the time to use them. Such seafarers tend to score more highly, markedly so.

There are also seafarers, unfortunately, who still despite the Maritime Labour Convention urging consideration regarding the provision of exercise and recreation equipment, they claim that their vessels do not have any such facility. There were a number of comments concerned that many new ships are coming from the yard without gyms or pools.

These seafarers repeatedly mark their happiness lower than those who do have access. Crews on vessels without exercise equipment said that often the shipowners were disinterested or were not willing to invest in such facilities.

However, the lowest responses come from seafarers who do have access to gym facilities but owing to the physical or mental pressures of work do not feel like making use of it. Seafarers who fall into this pattern report feeling frustrated, and worried about their health.

There were numerous respondents who bemoaned the demise of the ship swimming pool. It was felt that these are no longer commonplace on vessels anymore, something which was considered to be an indictment of the cost cutting focus of many owners today.

Hard working schedules onboard, and the associated fatigue, are definite barriers to exercise and adopting a healthy lifestyle onboard. As stated by one respondent, “workload and overtime sometimes are overwhelming, therefore it impacts the mood to go to gym or any type of exercises”.

Back To News

Take the survey

Take the Seafarers Happiness Index survey now - and share your thoughts on life at sea today.

Get started now