Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies to Get Workers Out of The Office and on Their Feet in All 50 States

National Walk @ Lunch Day(SM) encourages healthier lifestyles

WASHINGTON, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies nationwide are working with employers of all sizes to get their workers to take steps toward healthier lifestyles. Citing the tremendous cost that inactive lifestyles and preventable health conditions have on the nation's healthcare bill, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are holding lunchtime walks across America as part of the second annual National Walk @ Lunch Day.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are hosting the walks in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to engage employees, members and community leaders in healthy activities to promote the benefits of walking. Nationwide, thousands of walkers from companies, organizations, state and local governments are participating in this healthy initiative.

Regular, brisk walking is one of the simplest and safest forms of physical exercise and a regular walking program can help control weight, condition the heart and lungs, strengthen bones and help you take the first step to a healthier future. Regular walking also has other positive impacts on health, including decreasing the risk of a heart attack, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, helping to control weight and improving muscle tone.

"More than 60 percent of all adults in our country do not engage in the recommended amount of physical activity," said Scott P. Serota, president and CEO of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). "This lack of regular physical exercise can lead to illness and chronic diseases down the road. National Walk @ Lunch Day is not only an opportunity for Americans to step outside and take a lunchtime walk, but it is an opportunity to join the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in leading a call to action for the nation to embark on a path to a healthier lifestyle."

In Washington, D.C., CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program employees are joining the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in co-hosting a National Walk @ Lunch Day event at the Hubert H. Humphrey building for federal government employees.

"Modern medical science gives every one of us the opportunity to be among the healthiest people who've ever lived," said Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Tevi Troy. "But if you want to live a long and healthy life, you also have to eat well, avoid risky behaviors, and exercise regularly. We at HHS are encouraging people to make these smart choices, and it's great to see private companies doing this as well."

Nationwide, hundreds of companies, organizations, state and local governments are hosting or participating in National Walk @ Lunch Day events across the country such as Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts, and Kayser-Roth Corporation in Greensboro, North Carolina.

"Emerson Hospital is committed to the health and well-being of our employees," said Christine Schuster, president and CEO, Emerson Hospital. "We know our employees are busy, so walking at lunchtime is a great way to integrate exercise into our day while spending some time with co-workers outside of the office. I look forward to joining my team as we walk our way to better health."

"Our goal at Kayser-Roth Corporation is to leave a legacy of healthier employees by creating an environment that encourages healthier lifestyles," said Rae Mackall, vice president of human resources at North Carolina- based Kayser-Roth Corporation. "We are encouraging our employees to walk on April 30th for National Walk @ Lunch Day as a way to motivate our team to walk everyday."

Below are highlights of some of the National Walk @ Lunch Day activities taking place across the country:

For more information, please visit www.bcbs.com/walkatlunch.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 100 million individuals - one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit www.BCBS.com.

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

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