“Training on Board”, a new website to help seafarers keep fit was launched by the International Committee for Seafarers Welfare (ICSW) this week. The website was developed by the Norwegian Maritime Authority and is supported by the ITF Seafarers Trust.
The site provides physical training programmes for seafarers designed by a professional physiotherapist, Mona Woll Haland. The exercises can be done onboard and have been tested with the help of the Norwegian shipping company, Odfjell.
“Training on Board” hopes to inspire a healthy lifestyle among seafarers. It helps to understand the link between physical training, nutrition, and fatigue.
The website has an online calculator to measure fitness. It goes on to guide seafarers on how to start a programme of physical training to improve their health and overall well-being. Seafarers can register on the site and record their workouts and monitor their progress. Seafarers can compete among themselves, and against other crews and companies to see who has done the most training and improved their fitness as a result.
The site addresses the concern that many seafarers are becoming unfit and obese. Torbjørn Husby of the Norwegian Maritime Authority said
“In Norway we are finding that seafarers are losing their health certificates as they have BMI’s of more than 35 and are becoming vulnerable to diabetes and heart conditions because of lack of exercise and poor diet.”
Roger Harris, Executive Director of the ICSW, said that improved fitness sits well with the soon-to-be-implemented ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). He said that the MLC emphasises the importance of health and welfare, and “Training on Board” encourages seafarers and shipping companies to actively participate in the fitness programme and learn about healthy nutrition.