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Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey employees to turn a working lunch into a walking lunch

On Wednesday, April 29, approximately 1,400 Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) employees from five office locations around the state will take part in the ninth annual National Walk @ Lunch Day™ -- a national workplace fitness initiative designed to remind people to take time during their lunch break and start walking towards better health.The national walk is a complement to Horizon’s Journey to Health wellness program. Since that program‘s implementation company-wide in May of 2011, Horizon BCBSNJ employees have logged more than 12 billion pedometer steps, which is the equivalent of walking around the world 489 times.Horizon BCBSNJ workers will gather at the front entrance of the company’s Newark Headquarters for a pre-Walk @ Lunch Day ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. After brief remarks from Kevin Conlin, executive vice president of Healthcare Management, walkers will step off from the company’s Newark headquarters on Raymond Boulevard, proceed to McCarter Highway (Route 21) and complete a 1.8 mile round trip route.Horizon BCBSNJ is welcoming the participation of employer groups for National Walk @ Lunch Day. Among those groups intending to participate is Somerset County Government, whose employees will walk at multiple work locations.Inactivity is one of the key factors contributing to the nation’s high rate of obesity and its related health effects. Nearly 35 percent of U.S. adults are obese, and obesity-related conditions, including heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, are among the leading causes of preventable death.Walking is one of the simplest, least expensive and most effective things individuals can do to improve their health. Just getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as a brisk walk, at least five times a week has significant benefits. Walking has been shown to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes, improve the health of muscles, bones and joints and provide a psychological boost.National Walk @ Lunch Day is a component of WalkingWorks®, a Blue Cross Blue Shield Association physical activity program designed to help Americans live healthier lives and reduce unnecessary medical costs due to inactivity. Reporters and Photographers Welcome WHEN:Wednesday April 30, 2014 – 11:30 a.m. (rain or shine)WHERE:Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey3 Penn Plaza (Raymond Blvd)Newark, NJ WHO:Brief stepping off remarks by Kevin Conlin, executive vice president, Healthcare Management, Horizon BCBSNJ860 employees from Penn Plaza HeadquartersOther Horizon BCBSNJ Offices participating in the National Walk @ Lunch Day:• Horizon NJ Health, 210 Silvia Street, West Trenton• Horizon NJ Health, 370 Scotch Road, Ewing• Horizon BCBSNJ 1427 Wyckoff Road, Wall• Horizon BCBSNJ, 250 Century Parkway, Mt. LaurelAbout Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey:Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.8 million members.