• Health Care Innovation

    Metro Detroit African American Churches Log More than 75,000 Miles in the Body and Soul BLUE Walking Challenge

     

    Members of metro Detroit African American churches compete in the Body and Soul BLUE walking challenge sponsored by BCBSM and the American Cancer Society

    Participants in the Body and Soul BLUE walking challenge sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and American Cancer Society warm up for physical activity with some stretching.

    Members of African-American faith community throughout metro Detroit competed in our Body and Soul BLUE Challenge, a 10-week, incentive-based fitness competition sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the American Cancer Society.

    The top three churches, based on the size of their congregation, each received grants of 1000 dollars to support their congregation’s health ministry efforts. Between the 12 churches that participated in the challenge, 75,057 walking miles were logged in total.

    The Top Three Body and Soul BLUE Walking Challenge Churches

    • Tabernacle Baptist Church
    • Second Baptist Church of Detroit
    • New Ebenezer Baptist Church

    This program is designed to combat health disparities in the African American community and help educate people about how they can integrate healthy habits into their daily routine, including good nutrition and exercise.

    Health Disparities in the African American Community are Significant

    • 40 percent of African American men in Michiganwill not live past their 65th birthday.
    • African American women are more likely to die from heart disease than women of other races.
    • African Americans of both genders are much more likely to develop and die from cancer than any other racial or ethnic population.

    “Since I already walk quite a bit at my job, I saw the difference it made in my physical and mental health. I felt encouraged to incorporate healthy habits into other areas of my life, like eating better foods and staying active even when I am not at work,” said Pamela Martin, the top walker from Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church.

    There are no losers in this challenge –every church and congregation member who participated is a winner. Good health is its own reward!

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