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Independence Blue Cross helps employees walk to better health at National Walk @ Lunch Day

PHILADELPHIA, April 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the eighth consecutive year, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) celebrated National Walk @ Lunch Day, a national effort sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) to demonstrate how easy it is to take a walk at lunch and fit exercise into the busiest of schedules. Thousands of Independence associates and members of the region's workforce joined Independence at Rittenhouse Square and more than a dozen locations throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania to take a big step toward better health.

In Center City, the energy level was high as participants followed a designated course around the perimeter of historic Rittenhouse Square while enjoying the sounds of the Mummers. Walkers who completed the three-lap course received a water bottle with infuser from Independence as an eco-friendly way to encourage hydration. In addition, Independence collected sneaker donations to benefit Back on My Feet, a national organization that uses running as a means to help transform the lives of the homeless.

Participants at Rittenhouse Square and throughout the region shared their National Walk @ Lunch Day experiences through social media by taking photographs of themselves walking and using the hashtag #nwldphilly.

"Walking is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to improve your health, and at Independence we're proud to help our community focus on wellness efforts, like National Walk @ Lunch Day, that are both fun and inexpensive," said Dr. Richard Snyder, Independence senior vice president and chief medical officer.

Inactivity is one of the key factors contributing to the nation's high rate of obesity and its related health effects, while getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity — such as a brisk walk at least five times a week — has significant benefits. Walking has been shown to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and Type 2 diabetes; improve the health of muscles, bones, and joints; and provide a psychological boost.

Employers not within walking distance of the Center City Philadelphia event were encouraged to participate by hosting walks at their business locations.
Designed to fit into – not compete with – a daily routine, National Walk @ Lunch Day is a component of Walking Works®, a BCBSA 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.

For more information about National Walk @ Lunch Day, please visit: http://www.ibx.com/company_info/events/walk_at_lunch.html

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve 9.5 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia, including 2.5 million in the region. For nearly 80 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 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: Media Contact: Kathleen Conlon Independence Blue Cross 215-241-4576 (office) Kathleen.Conlon@ibx.com

Source:Independence Blue Cross