Wednesday is National Walk at Lunch Day. Blue Cross and Blue Shield dreamed the idea up to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
The obesity rate has doubled in the past 15 years in Nebraska. Rod Trebilcock, Communications Manager for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, said, “It is staggering because now there are so many other things to do with electronics and everything like that people aren't taking advantage of playing in parks and doing those types of things."
The company is challenging people to work 30-minutes of walking into their lunch hour, at least for one day. "Although it's one day, we truly encourage people to start this as a lifestyle. Walking is quick and it's an easy day to stay active,” said Trebilcock.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield has pledged to donate $1 to Special Olympics of Nebraska for every picture they receive from walking groups. Participants are asked to send those digital photos to www.nebraskablue.com.
As of Tuesday, 33,000 people had registered in advance to walk. That's twice as many people as signed up last year.
The company will have their own organized walk outside its Aksarben Village offices, near 67th and Center, starting at Noon. They expect about 80-percent of their employees to take part. Workers, like Matt Slattery who’s participating, can earn cash prizes for such steps they take toward bettering their fitness and health.
They have a workout facility within their building to make exercise more convenient. "It's so easy. I've lost 20 pounds since I started here because of it,” he said. “You can just come to work, work out, take a shower, you're already at work.”
Another organized Walk at Lunch event is set to begin at Noon outside of City Hall, 18th and Farnam. Walkers, including Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle, will head east. The public is invited to take part.
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