Stressful Factors of Being at Sea

When it comes to sailing, several factors can cause stress for a person. Some of them are fatigue, lack of communication with the outside world, work-related stress, loneliness, and COVID-19. If you have any of these problems, you should seek help immediately.


Fatigue is a significant cause of concern for seafarers. It can be associated with short or long-term ill health and reduced performance. A proper approach to fatigue could improve safety in the maritime industry.

Many factors influence the amount of fatigue seafarer experiences. These include behavioral, psychosocial, and environmental influences. Some are more manageable than others. But some aspects are unique to seafarers.

Long working days and work shifts are standard features of life at sea. Unpredictability is another factor. Port turnarounds are a particular stressor.

Fatigue has been linked to accidents, ill health, and reduced performance. But it is essential to consider the role of fatigue in the context of individual circumstances.

Studies on fatigue at sea have focused on work schedules, stress, and sleep. However, more needs to be done on the actual level of fatigue in seafarers.

Work-related stress

Work-related stress is a severe issue for employers and employees. It affects the health and productivity of organizations and may lead to psychological and physical problems. There are several ways to reduce occupational stress, and this book offers an overview of them.

One of the most common symptoms of work-related stress is sleeping problems. Maritime professionals who cannot get a whole night’s rest at sea can develop severe sleep deprivation, which can impair their performance. To prevent this, companies should provide workers with adequate training and discuss appropriate action.

Another common sign of work-related stress is lost appetite. This can be caused by working long hours, inadequate sleep, and conflicts with co-workers. If this occurs, you should tell your employer. They can help you through professional counseling.


The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) estimates that human factors cause approximately 80% of cargo ship accidents. As a result, fatigue is a significant risk factor that should be incorporated into maritime safety.

Many studies have examined fatigue’s effect on seafarers’ performance. Researchers have found that fatigue, or the lack of sleep, has a detrimental impact on performance, particularly in naval seamen.

Fatigue is a common factor among seafarers. Studies have shown that pilots experience more sleep disturbances than other crew members. It is also believed that exposure to low-frequency noise from big ships can increase stress-related chemicals in the body.

In addition to physical factors, psychological and social aspects of work have been shown to contribute to a lack of efficiency among the crew. Loneliness on board is a significant cause of mental distress. Other research has identified depression, anxiety, and other forms of emotional stress as factors.


Loneliness is a widespread problem among seafarers. This is due to the need for more contact with families and friends. In addition, seafarers often have long periods at sea before reaching port. These factors may lead to feelings of stress and loneliness.

Some causes of loneliness include a lack of close family members or friends, relocation, divorce, and social distancing. Others are more internal. Whether the reason is mental or physical, loneliness can affect all aspects of your life.

A recent study found that loneliness is associated with cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and strokes. It can also increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Research in 2021 concluded that social isolation is a major contributing factor to depression.

Several studies have shown that loneliness increases the odds of death. Other studies have linked social isolation to suicide in vulnerable individuals. There have also been reports that loneliness can contribute to substance abuse.

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