DETROIT, Nov. 15, 2018 – From sit-ups to squats, kids and parents can now take part in a series of free exercises led by the voice of Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s MI Blue skill for Amazon Alexa. Encouraging children to participate in daily physical activity has never been easier with MI Blue skill’s new, guided movements designed to make exercise fun and engaging. After opening the skill, using the voice command, “Alexa, ask MI Blue how to play like a Lion,” parents and their children can access audible, motivational support from Stafford to learn and complete each of the five exercises provided. Featured movements, which are timed in one-minute intervals counted down by Alexa and the Detroit Lions quarterback, include bicycles, push-ups, jumping jacks, squats and sit-ups. “Matthew Stafford has been a great, long-standing partner in Blue Cross’ ongoing efforts to inspire Michigan’s youth to take an active role in their overall wellness,” said Andrew Hetzel, vice president of Corporate Communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “This new feature for the MI Blue skill is just another way Blue Cross is encouraging kids to get 60 minutes of daily physical activity through an interactive experience with a well-known, professional athlete they can look up to.” Partnered since 2009, Stafford has been an invaluable ally to Blue Cross in highlighting the importance of children’s health through his participation in statewide initiatives such as wellness-focused school assemblies and events at which he’s talked to students about proper nutrition and daily exercise. These continued efforts have helped highlight concerns related to childhood obesity rates in Michigan with 32.6 percent of children ages 0 to 17 considered overweight or obese. Stafford’s involvement in the youth-focused exercise capability for the MI Blue skill is another step toward bending this trend and helping children develop healthy habits they can carry into adulthood. “My partnership with Blue Cross over the years has given me incredible opportunities to connect with kids across Michigan and share the impact of food and exercise on the mind and body,” said Stafford. “As a professional athlete, I understand how essential staying active with sports or activities as a child is to instill a continued commitment to health later in life and I’m proud to be part of an effort that encourages them to get moving in a fun and positive way.” In addition to the new children’s exercise capability, the MI Blue skill serves as a comprehensive information hub for general health care and overall wellness. From explaining the difference between an HMO and a PPO to providing exercise tips and healthy recipes for the family, the skill allows users to access free, interactive resources within minutes using voice commands through an Alexa-enabled device. How to Use the MI Blue Skill for Amazon Alexa Enabling the MI Blue skill for Alexa-enabled devices is fast and easy. Users can enable the skill via the Amazon Skills Store on Amazon.com or through the free mobile Amazon Alexa app on both Android and iOS. If using the Amazon Alexa app, just open the app and select “Skills & Games” in the upper left corner. From there, search for “MI Blue” and enable the skill for easy access to health insurance and wellness information. Once enabled, future uses require only the simple voice command, “Alexa, open MI Blue.” From there, users can say “Alexa, ask MI Blue how to play like a Lion” to access the new, Stafford-guided exercise feature. For more information on the MI Blue skill for Amazon Alexa or Blue Cross’ commitment to childhood health, visit www.MIBluesperspectives.com. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. In 2018, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan received the J.D. Power Award for “Highest Member Satisfaction Among Commercial Health Plans in Michigan.” For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com.
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