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Health Team

'Million Step March' to Make Its Way Across N.C.

Posted March 18, 2008 12:10 p.m. EDT
Updated March 18, 2008 12:26 p.m. EDT

— Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is taking approximately 1.3 million steps to help raise awareness of the benefits of exercise, the health-care provider announced Tuesday.

Its newest statewide wellness campaign, the Million Step March, is a 600-mile walk across North Carolina bringing awareness to walking and other forms of physical activity as easy, low-cost ways to get active and become healthier.

The 10-week initiative begins in Asheville April 1 and ends in Wilmington June 11 with a team of workers making 50 to 60 stops around the state, including Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Goldsboro and Fayetteville.

The team will host demonstrations and events at schools, community groups, worksites and other locations along the way to inspire people to get moving.

About 58 percent of North Carolinians don't get recommended levels of physical activity, Dr. Don Bradly, a family doctor and BCBSNC's chief medical officer. And 25 percent get no physical activity at all.

BCBSNC estimates nearly $1 billion is spent every year on heart disease, diabetes and obesity– diseases that could often be prevented if people would exercise more.

“Just a short walk on most days can dramatically impact a person’s well being,” said Kathy Higgins, BCBSNC’s vice president of community relations. “We’re crossing North Carolina on foot to show that anyone can start a healthy habit, one step at a time.”