BlueCross and GoNoodle Recognize Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Promoting Physical Activity Breaks in Memphis Elementary Schools

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Since the 2014-2015 school year, more than 1,100 Memphis teachers have used GoNoodle, playing more than 52,000 physical activity breaks and generating 3.2 million+ minutes of student physical activity in classrooms

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Memphis elementary schools are making great strides to positively impact students’ health and exercise, thanks to a sponsorship from BlueCross that brings GoNoodle to 5,800+ Memphis area teachers at no cost through 2017.

BlueCross BlueShield℠ of Tennessee Health Foundation (BlueCross) and GoNoodle are getting Memphis children more active during the school day. An online suite of interactive physical activity breaks, GoNoodle helps teachers engage and motivate students with 3-5 minute moderate to vigorous exercises they can perform next to their desks. Research supports short bursts of movement throughout the day improve student overall health, behavior, focus and cognition

Childhood obesity has become a pressing issue within the United States. According to the organization Healthier Kids Brighter Futures, "Childhood obesity has increased more than fourfold among those ages 6 to 11. More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight, a statistic that health and medical experts consider an epidemic.” Tennessee is no exception to the nationwide struggle – in fact, Tennessee is ranked fifth out of all states for obesity in children ages 10 to 19, according to data collected from The State of Obesity organization.

Memphis elementary schools are making great strides to positively impact students’ health and exercise, thanks to a sponsorship from BlueCross that brings GoNoodle to 5,800+ Memphis area teachers at no cost through 2017. By incorporating GoNoodle’s physical activity breaks into learning activities, Memphis elementary students are getting active and obtaining precious minutes of movement and exercise right in the classroom. Since kick off in the 2014-15 school year, more than 1,100 Memphis teachers have used GoNoodle in their classrooms, playing more than 52,000 physical activity breaks and generating more than 3.2 million minutes of student physical activity. Local students are improving their overall health while developing faster cognitive processing, increasing their focus and improving their academic performance.

“We are happy to see teachers using GoNoodle in their classrooms to get their students moving, and keep them focused on learning,” said Dawn Abel, director of community relations and foundations for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. “BlueCross is committed to helping promote healthier lifestyles for Tennessee students and this partnership with GoNoodle is having a tremendous impact in Memphis and across the state.”

Standing out, Grahamwood Elementary, which has 44 teachers using GoNoodle in their classrooms, has achieved the highest participation rate for GoNoodle in Memphis and surrounding counties. Achieving more than 147,000 minutes of student physical activity, Grahamwood Elementary students have participated in more than 2,000 physical activity breaks since the 2014-2015 school year. In celebration of Grahamwood student achievement, GoNoodle and Coordinated School Health will be holding a school-wide assembly, an opportunity for all students to celebrate their health, have fun, get moving and participate in activities lead by GoNoodle Champ, Freckles Sinclair (mascot).

"Regular physical activity is critically important to the healthy development of kids. And, we know healthy kids do better in school,” said Scott McQuigg, CEO and co-founder of GoNoodle. “Thanks to the generous sponsorship of BlueCross, it’s great to see GoNoodle help make Tennessee classrooms active spaces where kids can earn important minutes of physical activity while also enhancing learning."

Memphis teachers currently have access to over 120 online physical activity breaks. To use GoNoodle, teachers need to have a computer with an Internet connection and a shared screen such as a projector or interactive white board. Memphis teachers can access GoNoodle for free by signing up at http://www.gonoodle.com.

About GoNoodle
GoNoodle is an online resource for elementary teachers to improve student engagement and youth health through physical activity breaks. Helping to increase energy and focus while improving classroom behavior, GoNoodle's activities can be played on an interactive whiteboard, projector or computer screen. Since its launch in August 2013, over 6.7 million kids have played GoNoodle physical activity breaks. Teachers can sign up for free at gonoodle.com.

About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc.
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc. (THF) was established in December 2003 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. THF awards grants focused on high-impact initiatives across the state, which promote healthy lifestyle choices and help control health care costs for all Tennessee residents. Working with civic and economic partners, THF is dedicated to the support of research, innovative programs and creative approaches to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans for generations to come.

About BlueCross®
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide peace of mind. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based health care company is focused on serving more than 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country.BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association (BCBSA). BCBSA is an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information, visit the company's website at bcbst.com.

Media Contacts:
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Gary Tanner, 423-535-8143

Lexington Public Relations for GoNoodle
Suki Mulberg Altamirano, 615-649-4000

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Reagan Brown
GoNoodle
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