A new website, Training on Board aimed at increasing the fitness of seafarers is being launched today.
The website has been developed by the Norwegian Maritime Authority for the International Committee on Seafarers' Welfare (ICSW). The purpose of the Training on Board website is to persuade seafarers to pursue a healthy lifestyle and to understand the link between physical training, nutrition, and fatigue.
The website enables the seafarers to measure their fitness through an online calculator and to start on a programme of physical training to improve their wellbeing and physical health. The seafarers are able to register on the site and record their workouts. Seafarers can compete among themselves, and against other crews and companies to see who has done the most training and improved their fitness.
The site has been developed because of 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: "With the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) coming into force later this year it is important for crews to be fit and healthy. The MLC emphasises the importance of health and welfare. The Training on Board site encourages seafarers and shipping companies to actively participate in the fitness programme and learn about healthy nutrition".
The site provides physical training programmes for seafarers, designed by a professional physiotherapist, Mona Woll Haland. The exercises can be undertaken onboard. The site has been tested with the help of the Norwegian shipping company, Odfjell.
The website is at www.trainingonboard.org.