CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – In North Carolina, almost 30 percent of adults and more than 18 percent of children are obese[i]. Today Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) launched Get Outside North Carolina! (GO NC!) to help reverse this trend. This four-year initiative will start by supporting biking and greenway projects to increase outdoor physical activity. Future efforts will include support for other outdoor initiatives across the state that encourage people to get moving.
“GO NC! will provide new ways to help increase outdoor physical activity in North Carolina,” said Brad Wilson, BCBSNC president and CEO. “Every $1 spent building biking trails and walking paths can save about $3 in medical expenses. Through GO NC!, BCBSNC hopes to improve health and reduce obesity-related medical costs in North Carolina.”
GO NC! will kick off with three flagship programs: B-cycle in Charlotte, the Blue LoopSM in Raleigh and completion of the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail in Wilmington:
- BCBSNC and Charlotte Center City Partners have teamed up to make 200 bikes available for rent at 20 stations in Uptown Charlotte and surrounding neighborhoods.
- BCBSNC customers are eligible for a 20-percent discount on year-long bike share memberships.
- The program will become the first bike share program in North Carolina and the largest urban system in the southeast.
- Starting Thursday, July 12 at 1 p.m. through Sunday, July 15 at 8 p.m., BCBSNC is giving Charlotte citizens and visitors an opportunity to try the bike share system between two active stations for free.
North Carolina Museum of Art’s Blue Loop:
- The Blue Loop will complete a network of recreational trails in the Museum Park and connect the Museum to the regional greenway system. It will provide additional options for commuters, bikers, runners, walkers and art-lovers in the Triangle.
- Construction of the Blue Loop will start September 2012 with an estimated completion date of spring 2013.
Gary Shell Cross-City Trail:
- BCBSNC funding through GO NC! will complete the final phase of the 15-mile trail that crosses Wilmington from Wade Park to the drawbridge at Wrightsville Beach.
- Other additions to the trail include:
- Mile markers along the entire 15-mile trail
- Five bicycle fix-it stations along the trail
- Annual Run, Ride and Roll 5k event that takes place on the trail
GO NC! complements Nourishing North Carolina – BCBSNC’s statewide community garden program making local, healthy food more accessible to each of North Carolina’s 100 counties – and supports BCBSNC’s mission to build healthier communities and improve health across the state.
For more information, follow @BCBSNC or join the conversation with the #GONC hashtag on Twitter, or visit www.bcbsnc.com/gonc.
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 3.6 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 78 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 was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.
[i] F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011, Trust for America’s Health, 2011
Blue Bikes and Blue Loop are SM, ® Marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.