Crew Health: Maintaining fitness on board


The ability to maintain a fitness regime on board a vessel can be challenging, especially in instances where a ship does not have sufficient or suitable facilities for sport. However, these limitations need not stop a seafarer from taking regular exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Claims related to illness are frequently notified to the Club, with the number of claims reported remaining steady in number over the last five policy years. The Club has partnered with the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) to raise awareness of crew-related illness and to assist our Members in mitigating against related incidents.

Fit on board

It is important for the individual seafarer to take responsibility for their health within their living and working environment. The Fit on board programme, provided by ISWAN, addresses this by providing practical solutions such as:

  • methods on how to assess fitness levels, including the Step Test.
  • how to efficiently warm up and cool down to avoid injury.
  • how to train with exercise bands.
  • utilising a Step Counter.

Training on board

In addition to the Fit on board publications, a Training on board programme introduces a social aspect to your fitness efforts. By signing up and creating a Training on board account a crew member can compete with his/her self, fellow seafarers on board their vessels, and other vessels or shore side management. Sign up to Training on board or view the league table of ships participating from around the globe

In addition, the Training on Board newsletters include useful advice on matters such as BMI, Exercise of the month and an Ask the experts feature. These materials furnish crew with the knowledge they need to improve their lifestyle on board, acting as a preventative measure against illness.


Please click to view or download the ‘Fit on board’ guidance

Guidelines for Fitness Onboard Merchant Ships

Fit on board advice


This article is one of a series of articles in which the Club shares guidance and practical tips to our Members to promote good crew health on board. All articles in this series can be viewed here.