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Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, UnitedHealthcare and ShapeUp Invite State Of Rhode Island Employees to Take the Physical Activity Challenge

Competition will use cutting-edge social networking tools to encourage state employees to walk, run, bike, swim and spin their way to health and well-being

Providence, RI - According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 60 percent of U.S. adults do not engage in the recommended amounts of physical activity to maintain good health. Additionally, a recent State of Rhode Island employee survey showed that nearly 85 percent of State employees would like to increase their daily physical activity level.

To help State of Rhode Island employees improve their health and productivity and better manage health care costs, the State of Rhode Island, UnitedHealthcare and ShapeUp will be partnering to offer a fun, free and interactive workplace wellness challenge.

Starting March16, all State of Rhode Island employees could register to compete in The Physical Activity Challenge, a friendly competition to see who can log the most exercise minutes and pedometer steps. From April 16 - May 20, teams and individual employees will communicate with one another and keep track of their activity through an exclusive, online social networking platform. At the end of the challenge, wellness prizes will be awarded to the top three teams with the most exercise minutes, and top three teams with the most pedometer steps.

"UnitedHealthcare applauds the State of Rhode Island for encouraging its employees to take a more active role in their health and well-being," said Stephen J. Farrell, Chief Executive Officer of UnitedHealthcare of New England. "Programs like The Physical Activity Challenge and Rewards for Wellness are essential to helping people live healthier lives, and we are proud to be a part of this important initiative."

"Gaining the motivation to get back in shape after a long winter is difficult, and The Physical Activity Challenge will be an exciting way for all State of Rhode Island employees to re-commit to their health goals alongside friends and colleagues," said Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. "With the generous support of UnitedHealthcare and ShapeUp's innovative social media technology, we can look forward to starting the spring season on the right foot."

"We're excited to power The Physical Activity Challenge, an important health initiative for State of Rhode Island employees," said Dr. Rajiv Kumar, founder and chief medical officer of ShapeUp. "We look forward to working with the State and UnitedHealthcare to implement our social wellness solution that engages employees in healthy activities and changes behavior."

The Physical Activity Challenge is the last activity in the current round of the State of Rhode Island's Rewards for Wellness, an innovative program that helps employees stay healthy, get healthy, or live better with an existing illness. Participation in pre-determined wellness programs and screenings allow eligible employees to earn credit toward their health insurance co-shares.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

About ShapeUp

ShapeUp is the leading global provider of clinically-proven, social networking-based employee wellness programs. Founded in 2006 by two medical doctors, ShapeUp has pioneered an innovative approach to behavior change that uses social networking technology to reduce healthcare costs and improve the health of large populations. ShapeUp's evidence-based, clinically--proven social wellness platform covers more than two million lives and is used by more than 200 employers and health plans. For more information, visit http://www.shapeup.com and follow us on Twitter. proven social wellness platform covers more than two million lives and is used by more than 200 employers and health plans. For more information, visit http://www.shapeup.com and follow us on Twitter.

Related links

Department or agency: Office of the Governor

Online: http://www.governor.ri.gov

Release date: 04-16-2012

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