Kansas Citians will join thousands of individuals across the country for the 10th annual National Walk@Lunch Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information Contact:
Kelly Cannon
816.395.3711
Kelly.Cannon@BlueKC.com

Kansas City, Mo., April 27, 2016—On Wednesday, April 27, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC), is sponsoring the 10th annual National Walk@Lunch Day, as part of its ongoing Walking Works® program, where employees of local companies are encouraged to walk on their lunch hour.*

Approximately 40 companies and close to 1,000 people will take advantage of the celebration to walk their way to better health.

Inactivity is one of the key factors contributing to the nation's high rate of obesity and its related health effects. Research shows 50 to 70 percent of people spend six or more hours a day sitting, and 20 to 35 percent spend four or more hours a day watching TV.

This type of inactivity – or sitting disease – can lead to serious health conditions. For example, nearly 35 percent of U.S. adults are obese, and obesity-related conditions including heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer are among the leading causes of preventable death. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. is $147 billion. Annual medical spending on an obese patient is estimated to be $1,429 higher than it is for a person of normal weight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While those figures are discouraging, there is one easy solution that could have a profound impact.

Walking is one of the simplest, least expensive and most effective ways individuals can improve their health. It does not require any special skills, expensive equipment or a gym membership.

Below are six easy ways to incorporate more walking into the day:

  1. Take a walk with a coworker at lunchtime or schedule a walking meeting.
  2. Schedule a walk with the family after dinner.
  3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  4. Walk to see a colleague rather than call or email.
  5. Get off the bus or train one stop early on your way to work.
  6. Start or join a walking or hiking group.

By getting just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as a brisk walk, at least five times a week, individuals can realize significant health benefits. Walking has been shown to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes; improve muscle, bone and joint health; maintain a healthy weight; lead to better sleep; and provide a mental boost.

That's why Blue KC encourages companies and individuals to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle through its WalkingWorks program. WalkingWorks, now in its 10th year, was developed in partnership with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports to help Americans live healthier lives and reduce unnecessary medical costs.

So don't just sit there and let that warmer weather go to waste. Take steps to a better you, and see how walking does work!

* Before beginning any weight loss or nutritional program or new exercise regime, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to use our role as the area's leading health insurer to provide affordable access to health care and to improve the health and wellness of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.

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