The Physical Initiative

Today is a follow up post to me previous one about the new fitness tab that will be run in conjunction with The Physical Initiative, this post details more about who they are and what they do. I’m very pleased to be working with them to bring up to date and interesting information to you about fitness at sea.
The Physical Initiative is a complete health care package designed specifically for seafarers working in the shipping industry. They offer a number of schemes designed to improve the health awareness and general welfare of seafarers, all contributing to increase safety, improve efficiency, reduce company costs and enhance crew satisfaction and well being. Since the concept of the Physical Initiative was launched, their expert consultants have been assessing, testing and measuring the health and fitness levels of thousands of seafarers.
With their extensive knowledge of how ship operations can differ around the world they assemble tailor-made schemes which are designed to monitor crew fitness levels and encourage healthy lifestyles. Records show significant improvement in the general health of seafarers that have followed The Physical Initiative programmes…

The ship visit

A Physical Initiative consultant will visit each ship in a fleet ideally twice yearly to operate crew fitness clinics. This can be undertaken when a ship is at sea or in port. These visits will usually involve:
Physiological assessment; using body composition analysis to examine the basic physical components of positive health: body-fat percentage, lean body mass, total body water / hydration levels, etc.
Fitness testing, measuring aerobic and anaerobic age related fitness levels, vital statistics, strength, flexibility, cardio respiratory efficiency etc.
Manual and Materials Handling Training. Their qualified consultants will provide both initial and continuation training in the safe and correct handling of materials. This training can be arranged as onshore courses and at sea during ship visits.
Also included in the ship visits are:
  • Remedial Fitness Programmes
  • Provision of individual body composition analyses and evaluation
  • Full fitness (physical) tests
  • Nutritional programmes
  • Base metabolic rate assessment, calorific evaluation and cardiovascular training
  • Regular re-assessment
  • Monitoring support to achieve medical upgrading
  • Health Awareness Workshops
  • Presentations and demonstrations to senior staff
  • Advice and guidance to headquarters staff
  • Voluntary, confidential analyses
  • Exercise programmes, workout and food guides
  • Periodical magazine articles to consolidate Company policy of improving Health Awareness culture with all employees
Their schemes are designed to be mutually beneficial to both the seafarers who are the focus of the scheme, and to the companies who employ the seafarers. Below lists the services and benefits available to the companies and individuals who adopt one of the schemes.

Company Benefits

There are obviously huge benefits for the company for having fit and informed seafarers. What companies can expect from for using a Physical Initiative package:
  • Reduced minor injuries from slips trips and falls and save costs on crew replacements and medivacs
  • Improved awareness of physical risks and tasks and relevant fitness requirements for employment retention.
  • Assessment clinics conducted in the workplace, saving time and travel.
  • Overview report produced for each ship at every visit.
  • Observations made on catering/messing facilities and exercise amenities for both crew and passengers.
  • Regular monitoring of the health and fitness status of crew.
  • Very low cost scheme compared with all other service providers.
  • Magazine articles and poster campaigns.
Signing up to the Physical Initiative will give your company a health and fitness programme that goes much further than simply offering periodic health checks. The service can cover your whole company. Not only does it offer regular systematic monitoring but also health and fitness seminars delivered in the workplace maximising their convenience and accessibility.
After each visit they provide a full report. This gives a clear picture of the overall health and fitness levels of staff whilst respecting the confidentiality of information relating to an individual.

Individual Benefits

There are huge gains and benefits for the seafarer, after all this is who the schemes are mostly designed to help. What the seafarer can expect from using a Physical Initiative scheme:
  • Designed individual exercise programmes to meet recommended levels of fitness.
  • Exercise monitoring – regular monthly updates on individual progress.
  • Exercise referrals using specific exercise programmes and physical activity counselling for patients referred by GP’s.
  • Personal monitoring available throughout a seafarers lifetime at sea.
  • Exercise and activities designed specifically to suit the current environment.
  • Individual guidance for diet and nutrition.
  • Full personal confidential report produced after each physical analysis.
  • Lifestyle support and advice on alcohol, smoking, etc.
The Physical Initiative provides a personal programme for each seafarer with one-on-one counselling to help meet the desired aims, whether it is the creation of a nutritional assessment guide, lifestyle advice or a structured exercise programme.
A personal and confidential report is produced for each crew member, with explanatory notes and guidance from the Physical Initiative Consultant. In addition they continue to monitor health and fitness at a distance through e-mail. This helps maintain continuity and motivation.
In my next fitness post I will show you the full report of the assessment carried out for me and tell you as much as I can remember about the process, I think you may be surprised how detail goes into the report, they are very professional.
I hope you have enjoyed the re-introduction of the fitness tab and if fitness isn’t your thing, normal posting shall resume shortly, as previously mentioned I am currently working on my top ten mariner travel tips.
This entry was posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2012 at 3:17 pm by The Mariner. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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Comments (3)
  1. It is important to stay fit on the ship. Even though labor is tough and you think you are already in shape working so hard, but there are other parts of your body that need stretches and cardio.

  2. Not only do you need to stay in shape on the ship but you need to eat healthy. Most of the guys probably do not even care about what food they, eat, but good nutrition pays off when working in hard conditions.

  3. NZ says:

    When you’re on the ship, how do you go about staying in shape? Obviously, there’s lots of hard work every day – but do most large ships have a designated exercise room with a treadmill and a few weights?

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