Q4 2021 Health and Exercise

6.78 down from 7.12

The knock-on effect of more time spent onboard the vessel, with little or no opportunity to get ashore, means that the facilities come under more scrutiny and pressure. Unfortunately, it often seems that the chance to exercise and keep healthy is being negatively impacted.

There were repeated responses about the lack of equipment, or gyms being used for other purposes. Seafarers spoke of companies paying lip service, and never treating exercise as a priority. “Our company always says it is about to deliver new gym equipment, but it never comes”.

Management ashore needs to be more holistic in its views of shipboard life, according to respondents. “Management needs to draw up a proper plan of what we have, and what we need onboard. They just treat welfare as a hassle, they would not like to live like this”.

The other barrier to fitness is time. Many seafarers claimed that working 12 hours (or even more) per day meant that they did not feel they had the time to get to the gym or to exercise.

One respondent said, “Every trip I seem to gain more weight, and my colleagues feel the same. It is not uncommon to see 10kgs or more gain per trip. A combination of poor food and lack of movement”. Weight gain can bring with it a range of health problems, so again this is leading to potential sickness and labour issues onboard.

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