Million Step March Arrives in Greenville after 400-Mile Walk

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s (BCBSNC) Million Step March arrived today at East Carolina University, joining with community leaders from across Pitt County to celebrate National Employee Health and Fitness Day.  
 
The Million Step March is BCBSNC’s 600-mile, statewide walking campaign to promote the importance of physical activity. It kicked off in Asheville on April 1 and ends in Wilmington in mid-June. Team members have walked the entire way, stopping to host educational events at nonprofit organizations, parks, worksites, schools and other locations along the route.
 
The Million Step March team – led by BCBSNC Vice President of Community Relations Kathy Higgins and spokesman Gary Marino – has walked more than 400 miles since the campaign launched. Thousands of North Carolinians have laced up their walking shoes and joined the march, both in person and online. More than 6,000 people have logged more than 400 million steps on the walk’s interactive website, BetterHealthNC.com.
 
“We’ve walked all the way from Asheville to show that anyone can start a healthy habit, one step at a time,” Higgins said. “We’re pleased to have the people of Pitt County join people across the state who are part of this walking campaign.”
 
During the Greenville event, ECU’s Student Recreation Center opened its doors to the public and provided free health and fitness assessments; including blood pressure and Body Mass Index screenings, as well as a 20-minute “Strength Lab” fitness workout.  
 
Attendees also participated in various Million Step March-sponsored activities.  They included healthy cooking and physical activity demonstrations, riding bicycle blenders that make fruit smoothies and the Workplace of the Future exhibit, which features treadmills outfitted with computers. Participants also took part in a one-mile walk around campus.
 
“We’re working hard to create a culture of wellness in the Greenville area; not only for ECU employees but throughout the community as a whole,” said ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard. “The Million Step March helps to accomplish that goal by showing that even simple activities like walking can have a profound impact on individual health.”
 
The Pitt County schools held a walking event of their own to mark the campaign’s arrival in Greenville.  
 
More than 1,700 students from Falkland Elementary, Chicod School and the Community Schools and Recreation After School Program walked one mile each, tallying an estimated 3.4 million steps in support of the Million Step March.
 
There’s still time to join in the march! Visit BetterHealthNC.com for tips on how to make physical activity part of your routine and to share your story with North Carolinians who want to improve their overall health.
 
Next up: The Million Step March will stop in Fayetteville before a finale celebration in Wilmington, June 12, 2008.
 
 
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.7 million members, including approximately 904,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 75 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.
 
About Million Step March:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is stepping up its commitment to physical activity with its Million Step March. This new statewide wellness initiative focuses on promoting the benefits of simple, yet effective forms of physical activity like walking. The March begins in Asheville and ends in Wilmington.   It also includes an interactive web site which provides North Carolinians with opportunities to join the March online, and shows them how to make good health a habit, one step at a time. To step it up, visit BetterHealthNC.com.
 
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