|TARGET #||DESCRIPTION||SA STATUS
(PER 2019 COUNTRY REPORT)
|3.4||By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and wellbeing
|Mortality rates attributed to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases have remained relatively stable between 2011 and 2016
For 2016 these rates were:
· Cardiovascular disease: 11%
· Cancer: 7%
· Diabetes: 4%
· Chronic respiratory diseases: 3%
In 2013, the suicide mortality rate was on the increase, but it declined in 2015 when it was 1,3 per 100 000
From a study on the impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), we learn that healthcare costs for an employee affected by NCDs are on average five times higher than those of an
employee not affected by NCDs. The global cost of physical inactivity was calculated to be $53,8 billion while productivity losses from physical inactivity-related deaths amounted to $13,7 billion.
MEET FULUFHELO SIPHUMA whose health and wellbeing work is helping to address these issues.
Fulufhelo is involved in several initiatives that encourage large numbers of people to lead more healthy lifestyles which, in turn, prevent NCDs and boost mental stability.
NCDs are otherwise known as ‘lifestyle diseases’ and include heart disease, stroke and diabetes, as well as breast and colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension and obesity.
Fulufhelo believes that prevention is better than cure, and some of the initiatives she is involved in are:
- She hosts fitness challenges, health fairs, lunches and corporates wellness sessions. These focus on employee wellbeing and reinforcing a culture of workplace wellness and fostering social cohesion it the workplace through fitness. She also hosts high-powered free fitness masterclasses for the general public (which usually have more than 200 attendees). These sessions are characterised by collaboration with big brands and offer pillars of wellness exploring financial wellness, mental wellness, how to attain work life balance, etc: https://www.instagram.com/p/BzVbHMrgzUy/?igshid=1xaldpkolc7y.
- She contributes to wellness articles which have a wide reach: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBucuEupj4E/?igshid=bz4osskq66p1.
- She raises awareness through traditional media such as radio and television talk shows and newspaper articles and provides tips on social media platforms with an enormous reach. This means that more and more people are roped into the wellness lifestyle:
When Fulufhelo went to university to study chartered accounting, she slipped up a bit on her physical activity due to her demanding schedule. She says her energy levels dropped, making it harder to concentrate and be productive. Not liking the sluggish feelings resulting from the lack of exercise, she decided to head back to the gym and transform her body. Wanting to challenge herself, she set her sights on building lean muscle. She points out: ‘I had to find something that would increase my energy levels and keep me upbeat. I started going back into fitness.’
With a lot of determination, consistency and discipline, the audit manager gained 13 kilograms of muscle and is now sharing her passion for fitness.
Fulufhelo says that exercise boosts our problem-solving ability and helps generating ideas and concentration while relieving stress and improving memory. This is especially important in the accountancy profession, as the workload involves lots of complexity.
Increased energy levels help with better engagement and increased productivity. Due to its mood-boosting abilities, exercise also makes for happier employees.
Exercise not only makes us physically healthy but also releases feel-good hormones known as endorphins, which are mood boosters. That makes us good to be around other people. Our quality of life is also improved through exercise: it improves our self-image, promotes optimism, counters anxiety and depression, helps with stress management, and boosts energy levels.
You can find out more about Fulufhelo and her fitness work on her website: http://www.fulufitness.com/.
Are you a fitness champion? We would love to know. Please share with us in the comments section below.
 SAICA report: Reporting on Health and Wellbeing, 2019, page 7, https://www.saica.co.za/Portals/0/documents/H_and_W%20Reporting%2026%20September%202019.pdf.
 Loc cit.