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City Communications Office

City of Kansas City, Mo.

www.kcmo.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2012

City participates in National Walk at Lunch Day

Event promotes employee wellness and health programs

The City of Kansas City, Mo., will join Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (BCBSKC) and several other downtown employers during the Sixth Annual National Walk at Lunch Day on Wednesday, April 25 at noon outside City Hall, 414 E. 12th St.

Following brief remarks from Mayor Sly James and Dr. Gregg Laiben, BCBSKC medical director, participants will walk two laps around City Hall facilities and Ilus Davis Park. All participants will receive a bottle of water and walking log. In addition to City Hall, 12 other City facilities are participating in National Walk at Lunch Day.

National Walk at Lunch Day encourages employees to take steps – literally – during their lunch hour to achieve better overall health. Many downtown employers are concerned with the health of their employees and support participation in health and wellness programming such as group walks.

Between work and other commitments there is little time for exercise, but National Walk at Lunch Day was designed to complement, not compete with, the busy lifestyle that downtown employees lead by encouraging them to take a walk on their lunch break. This program was created to encourage employees to improve their personal health by taking steps to increase physical activity and decrease the costs of health care for both employers and employees.

Adult Americans spend much of their time at work, many in sedentary careers, amplifying the risk for medical problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Obesity alone costs American businesses $12.7 billion in medical expenses and $225.8 billion in health-related productivity losses per year. Studies suggest that creating a culture of positive health and implementing worksite wellness programs will help companies increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and turnover rates while reducing hard costs. Research shows that employers can save $3 for every $1 they spend on health and wellness.

For more information or media inquiries about the City’s participation in National Walk at Lunch Day, please contact Gwen Dunlap, Fountain of Health wellness coordinator, at 816-513-1383.

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