PHILADELPHIA, April 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) recognizes National Walk @ Lunch Day, a national effort sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association to demonstrate how easy it is to take a walk at lunch and fit exercise into the busiest of schedules. More than 10,000 people from area employers registered to participate in this year's event at Rittenhouse Square and 130 locations throughout the region.
The annual walk – the seventh for Philadelphia – attracts employees from Independence's customer groups, as well as individuals and groups from area community centers, local students, and Independence Blue Cross associates.
"Independence Blue Cross is committed to serving as a source of inspiration and encouragement for our customer groups and members as they focus on worksite wellness," said Dr. Richard Snyder, Independence's SVP and chief medical officer. "We're proud of the continued success of this event and the commitment by regional businesses to inspire their workforces to start or continue a regular walking program."
Due to the threat of severe weather in Philadelphia, Independence canceled their National Walk @ Lunch Day activities at Rittenhouse Square. However, the company encouraged those employers who have the opportunity to conduct a walk safely at or near their locations to proceed or to seek alternative options, such as an indoor stair climb.
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. Walking lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, and improves the health of muscles, bones and joints.
Last year, tens of thousands of walkers participated in events in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In 2013, a record 26,000 people walked in Independence-sponsored National Walk @ Lunch Day events at more than 100 separate locations, making it the largest National Walk @ Lunch Day in the nation.
National Walk @ Lunch Day is a component of Walking Works®, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association physical activity program designed to help Americans live healthier lives and reduce unnecessary medical costs due to inactivity. The Walking Works program was developed in partnership with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve more than 8.2 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia. For more than 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
CONTACT: Kathleen Conlon 215-241-4576 Kathleen.Conlon@ibx.com
Source:Independence Blue Cross