Twenty Members of Congress Join The Humana Foundation in American Horsepower Challenge to Fight Childhood Obesity

Nationwide initiative will show kids how much fun fitness can be.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

WASHINGTON, DC – March 31, 2009 – The Humana Foundation, philanthropic arm of health-benefits company Humana Inc., is teaming with 20 members of Congress to offer 2,000 U.S. elementary and middle school students a unique exercise/video-game program intended to increase the kids’ activity to improve their health.

Increasing activity at the grade-school level is critical. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled over the past two decades. The most recent statistics show that 34 percent of America’s children are overweight. If this trend continues, it could cut two to five years from the average American’s lifespan, according to a study by the American Heart Association, and result in a dramatic increase in already prevalent chronic conditions.

“Childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States, and initiatives like The American Horsepower Challenge teach kids that staying active is a key to staying healthy,” said Mike McCallister, chairman of The Humana Foundation board of directors, and Humana Inc. president and CEO. “For children to add exercise into their daily routine, it has to be fun. Kids love games and computers, so we combined the two.”

The American Horsepower Challenge is part of a trend known as “exergaming” that incorporates real-world movement into video games. For example, this program translates actual physical activity (steps walked) into an online race.

The competition is really two challenges in one:

· Five schools in the same state or Congressional district compete against each other

· States and/or congressional districts compete against each other

Twenty members of Congress have agreed to serve as honorary participants in the Challenge. Their own steps will be counted in their state’s or district’s total. Participating lawmakers include:

Rep. Jason Altmire (PA-4) Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-22)

Sen. Max Baucus (MT) Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA-3)

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) Rep. Adam Putnam (FL-12)

Rep. Charles Boustany (LA-7) Rep. Mike Rogers (MI-8)

Rep. Ben Chandler (KY-6) Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-6)

Rep. Geoff Davis (KY-4) Rep. John Shadegg (AZ-3)

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8) Rep. John Shimkus (IL-19)

Sen. Tom Harkin (IA) Sen. John Thune (SD)

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR) Sen. Mark Warner (VA)

Sen. Mel Martinez (FL) Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20)

“These lawmakers recognize the costs of childhood obesity and are willing to model healthy behavior for the kids in their districts,” McCallister said. “At The Humana Foundation, we believe this initiative will help ensure that lawmakers consider the long-term impact of childhood obesity as they evaluate legislation to address America’s most pressing public health issues.”

About The American Horsepower Challenge

Each of the 100 participating schools will have 20 fifth or sixth graders wear smart pedometers, called ActiPeds, on their shoes to monitor their daily activity for four weeks. The steps will be wirelessly uploaded to www.horsepowergame.com <http://www.horsepowergame.com/> while the Horsepower game is played. Each participant receives a cartoon horse avatar that joins their teammates on a virtual bus to transport them around the globe. The distance covered by the bus is based on each school’s collective steps.

Representations of real-world landmarks appear along the way providing history and geography lessons. Players also earn the opportunity to dress up their horses with various accessories by taking more steps.

A pilot program at schools in Louisville, Ky., where Humana is based, showed encouraging results. At the end of the challenge:

  • 100 students had walked a collective 6,364 miles, a 13 percent increase over the previous four weeks 
  • 62 percent of the students reported that they exercised more than usual because of the challenge 
  • 53 percent of the students said they got their families to exercise with them 
  • 45 percent of the kids said they even started eating healthier during the challenge

Each participating school will receive pedometers and the wireless router necessary to play the game.

Humana Inc.’s Games for Health team developed The American Horsepower Challenge and works to create new ways for people of all ages to reach new levels of health and well-being through games and technology.

About The Humana Foundation

The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health-benefits companies. The Foundation is located in Louisville, Ky., the site of Humana’s corporate headquarters. The Foundation’s mission is to support charitable activities that promote healthy lives and healthy communities.

About Humana Inc.

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, with approximately 10.6 million medical members. Humana is a full-service benefits-solutions company, offering a wide array of health and supplementary benefit plans for employer groups, government programs and individuals.

Over its 48-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s Web site at http://www.humana.com, including copies of:

· Annual reports to stockholders

· Securities and Exchange Commission filings

· Most recent investor conference presentations

· Quarterly earnings news releases

· Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls

· Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors)

· Corporate Governance Information

Related

Saucony Ramps Up Fight Against Childhood Obesity

LEXINGTON, MA (August 29, 2012) – Today, a third of American children are overweight or obese, posing a serious health threat to the future of our kids. This September, in support of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Saucony, Inc., a leading global supplier of ...read more

Sequoia Fitness Donates Product to Fight Childhood Obesity

Sequoia Fitness Products USA recently made its 2011 goodwill contributions in its effort to fight childhood obesity. Valued at over $35000, the company donated several thousand Tonus PE Growth and BMI Calculators. These devices are used to monitor children's BMI, height, and ...read more

SPRI® Products, Inc. Joins the SGMA to Fight Obesity in America

Miles participates in SGMA's 2008 National Health-through-Fitness Day Libertyville, IL - March 20, 2008 – National Health-through-Fitness Day, organized by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), occurred on March 12, in Washington, D.C. Patrick Miles, Director of ...read more

Nike boss, sports/health leaders testify at Senate hearing on childhood obesity

A Senate committee looking at the Childhood Obesity Reduction Act as a way to curtail the escalating number of overweight kids in America listened to testimony from Gary DeStefano, president of USA operations for Nike, and Lynn Swann, chairman of the President's Council on ...read more

Sara Lee Corp. Partners with Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation to Fight Obesity

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill.-- Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE) is teaming with many food and beverage peer companies, customers and non-governmental organizations to help the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation reduce obesity by 2015. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation will promote the ...read more

Saucony Run For Good Honors National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

LEXINGTON, MA — September 16, 2010 — The Saucony Run For Goodsm Foundation, established to help combat childhood obesity by providing financial support to community-based youth running programs, has announced its support for the first ever National Childhood Obesity Awareness ...read more

CamelBak joins with The Outdoor Foundation to Announce Outdoor Nation 'CamelBak Challenge' Grant Winners

Washington, DC - CamelBak joined with The Outdoor Foundation's initiative, Outdoor Nation to announce the 2010 'CamelBak Challenge' grant winners. Equipped with 100 reusable CamelBak water bottles and $500, the nine grant recipients from across the country will work to champion ...read more

Handheld Calculator for Parents Helps Deter Childhood Obesity

Sequoia Fitness Products USA has recently launched its second health and fitness product, the Tonus PE BMI & Growth Calculator. This handheld is designed for parents to monitor their children's growth statistics and to help monitor against the onset of childhood obesity.The unit ...read more

SNEWS® Live: Saucony's Run For Good Foundation gives grants to curb childhood obesity

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by The North Face [advertising_display billboard_name="|Podcast_TNF_Billboard|" number_to_display="|3|"] SNEWS® Live: Running shoe company Saucony is doing its part to help curb a national epidemic. Across the United States, children ...read more