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Seafarers fitness website launched

A new website, called Training on Board, has been launched to help ship crews to stay fit.

The www.trainingonboard.org site has been developed by the Norwegian Maritime Authority for the International Committee on Seafarers' Welfare (ICSW), and funded by the International Transport Workers Federation Seafarers Trust.

The aim of this initiative is to promote understanding of the link between physical training, nutrition, and fatigue.

Seafarers can measure their fitness through an online calculator, start on a programme of physical training and record their workout. They can also compete amongst themselves, and against other crews and companies.

“In Norway we are finding that seafarers are losing their health certificates as they have BMIs of more than 35 and are becoming vulnerable to diabetes and heart conditions because of lack of exercise and poor diet,” said Torbjørn Husby of the Norwegian Maritime Authority.

The physical training programmes for seafarers on the site have been designed by a professional physiotherapist, Mona Woll Haland. The exercises can be undertaken onboard.

The programmes contained on the website have already been tested with the help of the Norwegian shipping company, Odfjell.

Roger Harris, executive director of the ICSW, commented: “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.”

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