CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — On April 30, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and its 4,700 employees will join thousands of workers across the country by participating in the second annual National Walk @ Lunch DaySM.

National Walk @ Lunch Day is a workplace walking event which encourages people to take time during their lunch breaks to start walking toward better health. Most Americans’ schedules are built around their workdays, so National Walk @ Lunch Day is designed to fit into – not compete with – their daily routine.

This year’s event will begin at 11 a.m. at BlueCross’ headquarters on Pine Street. Trainers from Futur/Fit and the Chattanooga Track Club will lead employees in warm-up stretches before a one-mile walk around downtown Chattanooga.

BlueCross employees will also be participating in National Walk @ Lunch Day at the company’s district offices in Nashville, Memphis, Jackson and Johnson City.

“Busy schedules are one of the greatest challenges keeping our employees from getting the exercise they need,” said Ron Harr, senior vice president of human resources at BlueCross. “This event is a great way for BlueCross to reenergize our walking program and promote a healthier workplace environment without interrupting busy schedules. Walking is the simplest form of exercise, yet it reaps great benefits for employees and employers alike.”

Regular exercise, such as walking, not only helps prevent diseases like obesity and arthritis, but also helps reduce the cost impact of future health problems. Simply getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five times a week can lower the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and improve the health of muscles, bones and joints.

The national walking effort is the next step of WalkingWorks®, a BlueCross BlueShield Association program to help Americans live healthier lives and reduce unnecessary medical costs due to physical inactivity. The WalkingWorks program was developed in partnership with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. The Tennessee BlueCross plan has made WalkingWorks available to its employees and members since 2003.

For more information on the Walk @ Lunch event or WalkingWorks program, visit www.bcbst.com and enter “walk” into the search field.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.