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Shrinking Outside the Box: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota's "The Human Do.ing" Project Inspires Community to Live Healthier
Apr 16, 2011 (02:04 PM EDT)


Scott, The Human Do.ing, sheds pounds, improves health after month living inside glass apartment at Mall of America®

EAGAN, Minn., April 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- He danced. He grooved. He walked. He sweated. And in the end, he did something he wasn't sure was possible. He got healthy. On Saturday, Twin Cities man Scott Jorgenson, 45, ended his 30 days as "The Human Do.ing," a project developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) as part of the company's do.® Campaign to "groove your body every day" to achieve better health. After taking more than 500,000 steps – equivalent to roughly 250 miles – and exercising for more than 1,500 minutes with the encouragement of thousands of supporters, Scott stepped outside the box for the final time lighter, stronger, fitter and with healthy habits to last a lifetime.

"This has been an amazing experience, a life changing journey really.  I'm happy to report I've lost 27 pounds – from 254 to 227 – in the last 30 days by doing simple daily exercises and eating more nutritious foods," said Scott. "Best of all, I've lowered my cholesterol 110 points so it's now in the normal range! I've also improved my blood pressure 10 points. I feel amazing, have more energy than ever, and I've learned many healthy habits to take home with me."

The goal of Blue Cross' The Human Do.ing project was to showcase how a regular person, with support, can make basic changes – such as walking and substituting more fruits and vegetables into meals and snacks – and significantly improve their health. Not unlike many people, when Scott started The Human Do.ing project, he struggled with even light aerobic activity – barely making it through his first 10-minute "voteable do" of jumping jacks. More than 60 percent of Minnesotans are overweight or obese, putting themselves at higher risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis and colon cancer. Now Scott has the energy and stamina to "do" daily and go for long walks, plus he has the discipline and knowledge to eat better and make overall healthier choices.

"The Blue Cross team is extremely proud of Scott and his accomplishments through this project. These excellent results have dramatically lowered Scott's risk for many diseases," said Marc Manley, M.D., chief prevention officer for Blue Cross. "But the main message here is you don't need a glass box. With support from the community, family and friends, people can make small changes in their activity levels and eating habits that can lead to better health."

In just 30 days, the project amassed more than 4,300 Facebook fans from 19 different countries and inspired many of them to take a look at their own health. Messages posted by fans to The Human Doing's Facebook page included: "After checking out your project yesterday, I walked to the grocery store instead of driving. I'm inspired!" and "Watching you and reading your posts lit that spark in me! I have been walking more, moving more, and even tried couch push-ups last night. Thanks."

Scott took on the project with enthusiasm, participating in activities such as Zumba, snorkeling and hip-hop dance, and more than 100,000 supporters voted and watched it all in person, on webcam and through daily video blogs. He also led crowds at the mall in activities to move more. After just one week of eating better, Scott's food cravings shifted from salty snacks and carbs to fruits and spinach salads. These changes inspired many of Scott's supporters to take their own first step towards better health.

"It's hard to put into words how thankful I am to everyone who has encouraged me on this life changing experience, I am so grateful," said Scott. "I couldn't have changed my behaviors and lived so publicly without all of the support."

Going forward, supporters of The Human Do.ing will be able to cheer on each other and share tips about their own healthy lifestyle journey by taking the "I do, too" pledge on the Blue Cross do Campaign Facebook page at Facebook.com/docampaign. There will be physical activity tips, healthy recipes, and other resources posted for those who are inspired to "groove your body every day." Additionally, Blue Cross is donating $1 – up to $5,000 total – for every person who posts "I do, too!" to the do Campaign Facebook page through April 22nd to benefit the local American Heart Association's annual Heart Walk.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota's do Campaign has raised awareness about the importance of physical activity and healthy eating since 2004. Through television commercials and community programs, Blue Cross has encouraged people to "groove your body every day" and eat better in order to improve overall health. The Human Do.ing project allowed Scott to lead by example and inspire others to start doing. As part of Blue Cross' Prevention Minnesota(SM) initiative, the do Campaign and The Human Do.ing project are funded entirely by Blue Cross' settlement proceeds from its historic lawsuit against the tobacco companies. To learn more about the do Campaign visit do-groove.com. Other programs and services Blue Cross offers to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight include: sponsoring the public bicycle-sharing program Nice Ride Minnesota; funding community projects to improve access to healthy foods; supporting policies like Complete Streets to make communities more walkable and bikeable; and providing tools on bluecrossmn.com that can help members achieve a healthy weight. For more information about Blue Cross' many prevention efforts, go to bluecrossmn.com/preventionminnesota.

do.® is a registered trademark of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to bluecrossmn.com to learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota