Increasing Physical Activity
Giving people of all ages safe places to be active and play outside
Learning doesn’t just take place in a classroom or on a screen. When children have time to move and play outside, they are developing pathways to the brain. Children learn from experiences through play, experimentation, exploration and discovery.
Research shows that exploring, risk-taking, developing fine and gross motor skills, and absorbing knowledge can all happen through outdoor play. Unstructured physical play may also help reduce stress in children. Time outside allows children to make choices, plan and expand their creativity. It’s also important for physical activity, socialization and fun.
Through the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® initiative, HCSC makes investments to give more children access to physical activity by building playgrounds in underserved neighborhoods.
But it’s not all child’s play. Adults need fresh air and exercise, too. So, we are supporting bike-sharing programs and major park development and renovation programs, as well.
A few of the programs we supported in 2017:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois continued our sponsorship of the Divvy bike-share system. The blue bikes averaged more than 7,300 trips per day. Find out how we’ve supported the success of Chicago’s Divvy bike-share program.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana sponsored the Montana Bicycle Guild, an organization focused on trail advocacy, building and maintaining new and existing trails, and bringing local mountain bikers together.
A stroll in the park
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is a major supporter of Gathering Place: Tulsa’s Riverfront Park. The park provides space for people to play, relax and gather, with nature walks, two land bridges connecting the two sides of river parks, sporting areas and a pond.
When children have time to move and play outside, they are developing pathways to the brain. Children learn from experiences through play, experimentation, exploration and discovery.
Play all day
Since 2009, we’ve collaborated with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization that works to give all kids in our communities safe places to play. Kids who live in low-income communities often lack safe play spaces. By partnering with KaBOOM!, we help make it possible for kids to learn, explore and grow.
In 2017 our employee volunteers partnered with KaBOOM! to build five new playgrounds, including four with shade structures to reduce harmful sun exposure and keep playground equipment cool during hot summer months. Additionally, seven KaBOOM! trademarked “Imagination Playgrounds” were granted to nonprofit partners to provide fun indoor play spaces.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico provided an Imagination Playground in a Cart™ to Borderland Boys & Girls Club in November. The Imagination Playground in a Cart is a kit of sand, water and loose building pieces that kids can use to build a playground of their own design, indoors or out.
Together, HCSC and KaBOOM! created new, safe play environments for more than 20,000 children in Montana, New Mexico and Texas in 2017.
KABOOM! says thanks, HCSC!