Every aspect of health is important to Houston’s “Fitness Czar” Samir Becic. He infamously promoted obesity awareness when he ran 7 marathons in 8 weeks wearing a 73.5 lbs weighted vest and lived for 6 weeks with a 300 lbs weighted suit. Recently, when Samir read the CDC’s shocking updated statistic that the U.S. adult obesity rate stands at 42.4 percent, he knew he had to take drastic actions with his fitness campaigns in 2022. This is the first time in history that the national rate has passed the 40% mark and further evidence of the country’s obesity crisis. While obesity rates rise, so do the cases of diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and more. 4x #1 Fitness Trainer in America Samir Becic could not just stand by idly as America eats its way to sickness.
So he decided to write 500 letters to the CEOs of the biggest companies in America, urging them to make changes within their corporations that can contribute to Americans’ health: incentivizing physical activity and access to more education on the nutritional value of foods to their employees.
Understanding the obstacles that employees are facing to live their healthiest lives, Samir has found it imperative to shift companies’ focus on their most important asset, their employees. By sending the 500 largest companies in the United States his letters, he hopes to provide awareness around the ongoing issue of workplace health, fitness, and wellness. By doing so, not only will they have their employees working at their fullest potential, but they will also cut their healthcare costs by 25%.
The heightened benefits and proof of successful investment include:
- Healthier, more productive working employees
- Lower stress levels
- Lower turnover / higher employee retention rates
- Fewer sick days
- Lower insurance premiums
- Protection of a company’s greatest asset – the employee
- Higher self-esteem and a greater team-building mentality
- Increased energy and vitality in the workplace
- A more optimistic, positive attitude
- A greater eagerness to succeed and lead, along with the energy to do so
- Improvement in family life brings improvement into the workplace
- Greater community synergy, greater company synergy
Not only that, but data for increased wellness in the workplace is very positive:
- Statistics show that for every dollar spent on wellness initiatives, corporations can save as high as $10 in costs amounting to obesity-related medical concerns in the private sector. In fact, medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs – great news for the employee.
- Perks go to the employer as well, as companies with wellness programs in place have an average of 28 percent reduced sick leave and spend 26 percent less on healthcare costs.
- In a study done on the ROI of employee wellness programs, Harvard researchers conclude that, on average, for every dollar spent on employee wellness, medical costs fall by $3.27 and absenteeism drops by $2.73. This is a 6-to-1 return on investment.
- A report by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans determined that most North American employers saved $1 to $3 in their overall health care costs for every dollar spent on an employee wellness program. These savings come from direct costs, like workers’ compensation claims, and indirect costs, like improved retention and increased productivity.
- According to the Rand Wellness Programs Study, the disease management component to the studied wellness program was responsible for 86 percent of the hard health care cost savings, generating $136 in savings per member, per month, and a 30 percent reduction in hospital admissions.
Company and workspace health is something that is frequently looked over. It is imperative to put the health and wellness of employees first not only for their personal lives but also to maximize their performance at work and decrease company costs. There is an onslaught of diseases that are common in the workplace including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and more. Here are some workplace health statistics:
- Chronic diseases are the leading healthcare costs for employers
- Employers pay about $36.4 billion a year due to sick days taken by employees
- Employers’ total annual health costs for employees are on the rise ($11,750 in 2015 to $13,728 in 2020)
- Research showed employers spend their healthcare costs on obesity and depression most
There are many different factors that go into workplace health and wellness. Many employees are always working on something with their busy schedules, so they may not be able to pack or purchase healthy meal options, meaning they opt for unhealthy “fast foods” or unhealthy snacks in vending machines– all contributing to their health issues. Some employees may even live in “food deserts” where they don’t have access to fresh produce, but they do have access to unhealthy and processed foods; the same unhealthy foods that increase stroke risk by 7 times. Others have no time or resources to be able to get physical exercise integrated into their daily routines. Providing employees with wellness programs that truly have their health in mind is paramount to changing the obesity epidemic in this country.
Since the start of 2022, Samir has sent 500 letters to prominent Texas politicians to bring awareness to the ongoing issue of obesity, the 100 Mayors of the largest cities in America, all 50 Governors, and 500 school districts throughout America. This is in addition to previously sending dedicated books to the 36 U.S. Congressmembers that represent Texas, the 20 “Fittest Politicians in America”, the 40 “Fittest U.S. Representatives“, the 20 “Fittest Senators“, the 20 “Fittest Mayors in America“, the 10 “Fittest Governors“, and 2 U.S. Senators that represent Texas! In his letters, Samir highlights the importance of fitness and nutrition in hopes of making an actionable change at improving the health and fitness of Texans.