Little Rock, Ark. (March 17, 2014) — The 2014 Blue and You Fitness Challenge officially kicked off on March 1 with more than 8,500 participants officially registered to compete in the contest.
The Blue & You Fitness Challenge is held March 1 through May 31 and is hosted by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). The Challenge encourages employees to work toward the public health recommendation of 30 minutes of physical activity each day for adults, most days of the week. The exercise competition has grown from two entities in 2004 to more than 200 groups with more than 8,500 employees/individuals competing in 2014.
“Thousands of people are making a move to improve their healthy self and live happier and healthier lives by participating in the Challenge this year,” said Richard Cooper, vice president of Human Resources for Arkansas Blue Cross and team champion for the Challenge.”
Blue & You Fitness Challenge participants will log their exercise online at BlueAndYouFitnessChallenge-ark.com. New this year, participants can log from their smart phone. Participants can see how their stats compare to others in the competition. The winner is determined by the greatest group participation and the highest scores in four categories.
“At DHS, our more than 7,500 employees take care of our citizens across the state every day,” said Steven Jones, deputy director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services. “We want them to take care of themselves, too, and that’s why the Blue & You Fitness Challenge is so important. It gives us a chance to promote healthy habits at work. Regular exercise is a good way to reduce stress, battle the sedentary nature that often accompanies working at a desk every day and improve cardiovascular health. We are proud that this Arkansas-made program has put our state in the national spotlight for promoting worksite wellness.”
“The overall health benefits of physical activity cannot be overstated,” said Nate Smith, M.D., M.P.H., state health officer and director of the Arkansas Department of Health. “I am proud that our collaboration with Arkansas Blue Cross has led to a yearly program that not only promotes physical activity in the workplace, but also fun and friendly competition among Arkansas’ state agencies and private business.”
About Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Founded in 1948, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is the largest health insurer in Arkansas. Arkansas Blue Cross and its affiliates have more than 2,500 employees.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is comprised of 37 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans that collectively provide health care coverage for 100 million — nearly one in three — Americans.
About the Arkansas Department of Health
The mission of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is to promote public health policies and practices that assure a healthy quality of life for Arkansans. ADH works with individual Arkansans to improve their health, protect the public from epidemics, and provide preventive health services in your communities. This effort is supported by more than 5,000 dedicated employees and public and private partners.
About the Arkansas Department of Human Services
The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) provides a wide range of social services to more than a million Arkansas citizens each year through its programs and private providers. DHS is the largest department of the executive branch of state government. It has more than 7,000 employees and consists of ten divisions and six support offices. DHS maintains offices in each of the state’s 75 counties where a person can apply for all the services DHS offers. Services are provided to people from all walks of life and all ages. Major programs, which fall under the Arkansas Department of Human Services, include the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, and the Medicaid program, which account for the largest part of the department’s $5.8 billion annual budget.
Blue & You Fitness Challenge 2014
Confirmed Participating Groups/Companies
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Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and is licensed to offer health plans in all 75 counties of Arkansas.
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