The public is invited to attend the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s 2013 Health and Safety Expo Friday at Stinson Park in Omaha's Aksarben Village. The event is free and runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More than 80 local organizations, including boxing clubs, drug stores, even a cupcake shop, will be giving away goodies and offering a wide variety of wellness topics to learn about including kickboxing, self-defense, dentistry, chiropractic care, nutrition, physical activity, fitness centers, educational opportunities and more.
"There's a lot of buzz with the health care reform and it's something everybody's talking about so we want it to be a positive thing,” says Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska Wellness Coordinator Lori Thomas. “We want to make sure everybody's doing what they need to, to stay healthy and safe."
For years, the fair was open only to BCBS employees and family members. "It dawned on me that we need to have not only our employees and their families healthy, but their community as well,” says Thomas. “The more people that are happy or healthy and safe are happier and then you get more out of life, you get a better quality of life and that helps everybody bring their health care costs down."
The idea is to get us to reflect on our well-being as a whole and to start that reflection early in life. Childhood obesity is plaguing the country. Despite all the research and medical advancements in the last 30 years, the obesity rate among children hasn't dropped, it's actually three times what it was 30 years ago. This is not only bad for kids it's a bad sign of what's to come. Children who are overweight have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.
"It's like an uphill battle trying to do these things later in life so if we can solve these things earlier when they’re kids and make it so they don't have to have those battles later in life, that's a huge win for everybody,” says Thomas.
Fun fair activities will include potato sack races, hackysack, an obstacle source, the limbo and hula hoops plus raffle prize drawings throughout the day.