Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia Encourages Working West Virginians To Turn A Working Lunch Into A Walking Lunch During National Observance
April 25, 2012
CHARLESTON – West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, along with city of Charleston and Kanawha County officials, joined Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia, the West Virginia Healthy Lifestyles Program, the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) and thousands of Americans across the country today by participating in the sixth annual National Walk @ Lunch Day. This national event, developed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, encourages people to take time during their lunch breaks to start walking toward better health.
A 30-minute walk along the eastbound lanes of Kanawha Boulevard was conducted at noon from two separate starting points. Secretary Tennant, along with state employees, kicked off the walk at Greenbrier Street and Kanawha Boulevard. Kanawha County and Charleston city employees, along with employees of Highmark West Virginia and various downtown businesses, joined city of Charleston and Kanawha County officials at Capitol Street and Kanawha Boulevard. All participants met halfway on the boulevard for refreshments and prize drawings.
Most American’s schedules are built around their workdays, so National Walk @L unch Day is designed to fit into — not compete with — their daily routine. Many employers support National Walk @ Lunch Day by encouraging their workforces to participate.
“National Walk @ Lunch Day is designed as an easy way for our employees to fit some exercise into their busy lives,” said Fred Earley, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia president. “The process is simple — just take a half-hour walk at lunch. Making it a habit can make a positive impact to an individual’s health and the overall health of our community and state.”
This national walking effort is the next step of WalkingWorks®, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association 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 President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Because employers recognize the health benefits of incorporating walking into employee’s daily activities, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia has organized this event to demonstrate to working West Virginians just how easy it is to add moderate physical activity into their daily routine.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the cost to treat illness and chronic disease caused by inactive lifestyles is nearly $1,000 annually for every family in America. Simply getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity such as a brisk walk at least five times a week has significant health benefits, including lowering the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and improving the health of muscles, bones and joints. [Source: Physical Activity and Health, A Report of the Surgeon General, 1996]
About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves approximately 300,000 customers through the company’s health care benefits business and also serves tens of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. Highmark West Virginia employs approximately 800 people in Parkersburg, Charleston and Wheeling. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. To learn more about Highmark West Virginia, visit www.highmarkbcbswv.com.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 38 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for 100 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.