The health and lifestyle of Scottish fishermen: a need for health promotion

T Lawrie, C Matheson, L Ritchie, E Murphy, C Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


It has long been known that fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations. In the year 2001, 33 boats were lost and 10 fishermen killed in UK waters. Despite the dangerous nature of the occupation, very little research has been conducted on fishermen's health and safety. The few studies that have been conducted are spread widely around the globe, and tend to focus on mortality rates and accidents. Few studies considered fishermen's lifestyle behaviours. To address this gap in current knowledge research was conducted to gain an understanding of health and lifestyle issues affecting Scottish fishermen. Data was collected using a postal questionnaire survey in the Scottish fishing population and health diaries in a small subsample. High rates of smoking were prevalent and passive smoking was a considerable problem. Fewer fishermen drank alcohol compared to the general population, but fishermen lacked knowledge about what safe levels of alcohol consumption were. Diet was lacking in fruit and vegetables, and meals were eaten at very erratic intervals. Fishermen may benefit from health promotion and education in the areas of smoking, diet and alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Education Research
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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