; Members Of Congress And Capitol Hill Staffers Take Steps For Healthy Living
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Press Release

Members Of Congress And Capitol Hill Staffers Take Steps For Healthy Living

April 27, 2011

WASHINGTON – The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is hosting its ninth annual WalkingWorks® Capitol Hill Challenge, a healthy competition to see which team on Capitol Hill can walk the greatest distance during the six-week event taking place from May 13 through June 23, 2011.

According to the American Dietetic Association, more than 75 percent of office workers eat at their desks two to three times a week.  Another study found that when compared to counterparts in other countries, Americans take about 5,000 fewer steps a day – or spend 30 to 40 fewer minutes walking each day.

A regular walking program may help control weight, condition the heart and lungs, reduce stress, increase energy and help prevent serious chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Walking may be a simple, safe and effective way to get the regular exercise that we all need.

The challenge began on Friday, May 13, but teams and individual walkers can still register to participate by taking these four easy steps:

  1. Gather five or more Capitol Hill colleagues and friends into a team and choose a team name.  Keep in mind that any size team is welcome to participate; however, only those with five or more participants are eligible to "win" the Capitol Hill Challenge.
  2. Submit your team name to capitolhillchallenge@bcbsa.com.
  3. Register team members online at www.bcbsa.com/capitolhillchallenge under your team name to participate in this year's Challenge.
  4. Log your miles on the Capitol Hill Challenge website (www.bcbsa.com/capitolhillchallenge) to contribute to your team's Total Miles and Average Miles Per Walker, the two categories for the competition.

On June 24, the teams with the most total miles and the most average miles per walker will become the 2011 Capitol Hill Challenge champions.  Winners will be notified the week of June 27.  Last year's participants logged more than 113,000 miles on their pedometers during the competition – enough to circle the globe more than four and a half times.  BCBSA will make a donation to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) on behalf of the Capitol Hill Challenge in the spirit of health and wellness.

"The Capitol Hill Challenge is a great way to make healthy behavior a top priority even during long, busy days," said Representative Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), one of this year's Challenge supporters and whose office holds the title of the "Most Average Miles Per Walker" in the 2010 Challenge.  "As in many endeavors, our office and my staff set a pace that many aspire to, but few can achieve.  Again this year, we welcome all challengers."

BCBSA designed the WalkingWorks® Capitol Hill Challenge to provide Capitol Hill employees an opportunity to improve their own health as well as set a healthy example for others.  The Capitol Hill Challenge is a component of the WalkingWorks® program, a BCBSA initiative that encourages increasing daily physical activity by simply tracking the steps walked each day.  The program is used by Blue Cross Blue Shield companies nationwide.  Before beginning any exercise, consult your doctor or healthcare provider.

To receive leader board updates on the challenge throughout the six week competition, follow us on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/BCBSAssociation and @BCBSAssociation – and join the conversation with #caphillchallenge.

For more information the on Capitol Hill Challenge, please visit www.bcbs.com/capitolhillchallenge or email captiolhillchallenge@bcbsa.com with any questions.

WalkingWorks® is a voluntary program of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and is not officially sponsored or endorsed by the United States House of Representatives or United States Senate, or by any Member, employee, office or caucus of the House or Senate.  Participation by any Member of Congress or congressional employee does not constitute commercial endorsement of BCBSA or any of the commercial insurance companies it represents.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.