UnitedHealthcare dishes out $1.95M to improve physical activity

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UnitedHealthcare will dole out $1.95 million within the next three years to the American Heart Association (AHA) to help improve and maintain peoples walking and exercises regimens by developing walking paths and online walking resources.

According to Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealthcare, 150 walking paths will be formed within the first year of the partnership. Additionally, the money will help establish online tracking tools used to calculate calorie counts and walking routes through AHA’s website.

"Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and costs the nation nearly $305 billion annually," said Ralph Sacco, MD, president of AHA. "If we can get more Americans focusing on cardiovascular health, we could prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce the annual medical costs that are spent on people with excess health risk.”

According to AHA, currently, only 15 percent of Americans achieve the associations recommended aerobic exercise levels—30 minutes per day, five days a week. The partnership aligns with AHA’s 2020 goal to focus on seven key factors, including physical activity, to improve CV health and reduce deaths by 20 percent.

UnitedHealthcare said the website will be revamped in November to include social networking opportunities that will help connect people with other walkers in their communities.