On April 29, employees at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) joined thousands of people across the United States and Puerto Rico for the third annual National Walk@Lunch Day, a national workplace program that encourages people to spend part of their lunch break walking toward better health.
More than 50 BCBSRI employees from across Rhode Island walked for 30 minutes around the streets of Providence, showcasing their enthusiasm for the program. In addition to encouraging its own employee base to walk, BCBSRI offered a toolkit on its Web site to help Rhode Island businesses organize groups of walkers and encourage their employees to participate in the event.
"We are always looking for ways to help improve the health of Rhode Islanders. The Walk@Lunch Day initiative offers a great way to show how simple it can be to get the daily exercise we need to stay healthy, despite our busy schedules," said Dr. Harold Picken, vice president of Health Operations at BCBSRI. "It's exciting to see so many of our own employees as well as others in the area participate in this event. We hope they all make it part of their daily routine to help improve their health and overall wellness."
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, including lowering the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or type 2 diabetes, and improving the health of muscles, bones, and joints.
The national walking effort 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 President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.