April 22, 2011
National Walk @ Lunch Day® Allows Kansans to Take Steps Toward Better Health
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
to host walking events April 27 in Topeka, Wichita
The employees of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas are taking to the sidewalks of Topeka and Wichita April 27 to encourage fellow Kansans to take the first steps toward better health. Wednesday is National Walk @ Lunch Day®, a national program which reminds people to take time during their lunch break and start walking towards better health. Because most people’s schedules are built around their workdays, National Walk @ Lunch Day is designed to fit into – not compete with – their daily routine.
In Topeka, nearly 600 BCBSKS employees are expected at a rally and walk that begins at noon on the north grounds of the Kansas Judicial Center. Employees of other downtown businesses and state employees are invited to join the rally and walk, which takes place rain or shine. The first 250 participants who stop by the BCBSKS table at the event will receive a free event T-shirt.
In Wichita, employees at the company’s regional office will meet other downtown-based workers for a noon rally at Kennedy Plaza at Century II before embarking on a one-mile walk along the river, ending back at Kennedy Plaza. The first 250 participants who stop by the BCBSKS table at Kennedy Plaza will receive a free event T-shirt. The event is rain or shine.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates the cost to treat illness and chronic disease caused by inactive lifestyles is nearly $1,000 for every family in America, every year. Simply getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as a brisk walk, at least five times a week has significant health benefits, lowering the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, hypertension or type 2 diabetes, and improving the health of muscles, bones and joints.
“Beginning a walking program is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to improve your health,” said Mary Beth Chambers, Blue Cross spokesperson. “You don’t have to be a ‘power walker’ to reap the health benefits of walking. Rather, find a comfortable, rhythmic pace that you can maintain throughout your walk. Consider this year’s National Walk @Lunch Day as the first day of a new, life-long habit.”
Chambers noted that the personal health and medical benefits of walking are numerous. They include managing your weight; controlling your blood pressure; decreasing your risk of heart attack; boosting ‘good’ cholesterol; lowering your risk of stroke; lowering stress levels; relieving arthritis and back pain; strengthening muscles, bones and joints; improving sleep; and, improving overall mood and sense of well-being.
Last year, National Walk @ Lunch Day drew tens of thousands of participants in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It is a component of WalkingWorks®, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association physical activity program to help Americans live healthier lives and reduce unnecessary medical costs due to physical inactivity. The WalkingWorks program was developed in partnership with the Presidents Council on Physical Education and Sports.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSKS is the state's largest health insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte.
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