Press release: Winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder - UK P&I comments


Sophia Bullard, crew health programme director at UK P&I Club, advises crew on the causes of SAD and how to minimise its effects:

"With the dark nights of winter and the colder days upon us, many people in the Northern hemisphere start to feel more lethargic, less motivated and experience lower moods than usual. 1 in 3 people, in the UK alone, suffer these general symptoms, with some describing a need for more sleep, while others experience less enjoyment in hobbies and activities.

"While many people experience low moods during the winter months, 1 in 20 suffer from a more severe form known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (or more aptly 'SAD'), which can have a significant impact on a person's daily life, impeding their ability to work or to socialise.

"A crew member's ability to perform in their role is crucial for not only the safe transportation of goods, but also to stay safe and prevent injury to themselves and others. Seafarers can be affected by SAD and together with the daily stresses of the job, it can be easy for crew to feel overwhelmed, both mentally and physically.

"The conditions of the winter season, such as shorter days, colder temperatures and lack of natural sunlight, can have an impact on a person's energy levels and overall mental and physical health, with the distinct lack of sunlight being a crucial factor in the cause of SAD.

"Natural sunlight is an important element in any healthy lifestyle, being an invaluable source of vitamin D, as well as affecting a person's serotonin levels and internal body clock.

"Common symptoms of SAD include:

  • Greater need for sleep
  • Agitation or anxiety
  • A loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • Persistent low mood
  • Less energy/fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Increased appetite/weight gain
  • Becoming less sociable

"There are many changes that can be made to mitigate the effects of SAD during winter. These include trying to get as much sunlight as possible during the day, if this is not possible, a 'light box' that emits light similar to that of the sun can be beneficial. Consuming more vitamin D in your diet by eating vitamin rich foods, such as fish, oranges and eggs can also help offset the effects of SAD. Also, exercising for at least 30 minutes a day and, where possible, avoiding stressful situations and taking steps to manage stress levels."


For further details, please contact:

Jonathan Atkins / Alastair Doyle / Helen Cotton

Four Broadgate


/+44 (0) 20 3697 4200

Notes to Editors

The UK P&I Club is a leading provider of P&I insurance and other services to the international shipping community. Established in 1865 the UK P&I Club insures over 239 million tonnes of owned and chartered shipping through its international offices and claims network. 'A (Stable)' rated by Standard & Poor's with free reserves and hybrid capital of $558m, the UK P&I Club is renowned for its specialist skills and expertise which ensure 'best in class' underwriting, claims handling and loss prevention services.

The UK P&I Club is managed by Thomas Miller, an independent and international insurance, professional and investment services provider.

www.ukpandi.comThomas Miller

Thomas Miller is an independent and international provider of insurance, professional and investment services.

Founded in 1885, Thomas Miller's origins are in the provision of management services to mutual organisations, particularly in the international transport and professional indemnity sectors; where today they manage a large percentage of the foremost insurance mutuals. Thomas Miller also manages insurance facilities for all the self-employed barristers in England & Wales, as well as trustees of pension schemes, patent agents and housing associations.

Principal activities include:

  • Management services for transport and professional indemnity insurance mutuals
  • Investment management for institutions and private clients
  • Professional services including legal services, claims and captive management
  • Managing General Agency 

Staff Author