Food and fitness - a healthy and happy crew
Life at sea is challenging and most seafarers spend more time onboard than at home. One of the keys to a long career at sea is to ensure a healthy lifestyle and to reduce the risk for lifestyle diseases. How can this be achieved?
Tasty, good and nutritious food is welfare but unfortunately such food might be more expensive compared to more greasy food, and the managers might not be eager to increase the victualing budget. One solution is to work closer with the food suppliers or the sea catering services being used. Many of them provide services such as training for the chief cooks, setting up suggestions for weekly menus and they will also help to ensure a good inventory control. A good inventory control will lead to less food waste which is good for the environment and it gives more value out of the victualing budget.
Some of the benefits of healthy food onboard
- Controls weight
- Flag states might have different BMI requirements
- Reduces fatigue
- Reduced risk for diseases
- Risk of heart disease and stroke will be reduced when the cholesterol and blood pressure are within a safe range
- Risk of diabetes will be reduced
- Increases life expectancy
- Better mood
Besides having focus on the food, the managers will benefit from motivating their seafarers to conduct physical exercise onboard. Sports onboard is not only good for the physical health but it is fun, it is social and it can also be a teambuilding effort.
Some of the benefits of physical exercises onboard
- Physically and mentally stronger
- Less stressed
- More balanced
- Better sleep
- Better digestion
- Stabilising blood sugar
- Gives self-confidence
Ship managers who facilitate for tasty, healthy and nutritious food onboard as well as physical activities will benefit from this. A healthy and fit seafarer is a safe and happy seafarer.