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ARTICLE Arizona Elementary and Middle Schools Invited to Participate in the World Fit 40-Day Walking Challenge

PHOENIX (Feb. 12, 2013) – UnitedHealthcare and World Fit, a youth walking and exercise program, are offering students in as many as 10 elementary and middle schools in the state an opportunity to participate in World Fit's nationwide 40-day walking challenge.


Teachers and students at participating schools will create an organized group walk on a measured path or track on campus every school day for six weeks beginning after spring break. Students will log their miles on the World Fit website to compete for the fittest school in their community, state and nation. During the challenge, each school will be paired with a local Olympian or Paralympian. The athletes will serve as mentors and role models, teaching students the importance of lifelong fitness and the Olympic values of perseverance, respect, and fair play. Students will compete for gold, silver or bronze World Fit medals. In addition, each school will compete for the National Championship trophy, awarded to the school whose students log the most miles.


"We are very excited to partner with UnitedHealthcare to bring the World Fit program to Arizona," said Gary Hall, M.D., executive director, World Fit Foundation and three-time Olympic medalist in swimming. "The Olympians and Paralympians of Arizona are extremely dedicated to their own communities and want to see the youth develop a culture of fitness that will carry through with them for life. The World Fit Walk, like the spirit of the Olympics, fosters a healthy lifestyle in a fun, competitive six-week event and engages the entire community of students, teachers, parents and friends."


"The World Fit challenge is an innovative and exciting way to get Arizona's youth interested in healthy activities," said Jeri Jones, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual of Arizona. "UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to partner with World Fit to empower kids to be healthy at an early age and provide resources to schools and communities to fight childhood obesity."


Since the first World Fit Walk in 2009, more than 52,000 students from 75 schools across America logged more than 5 million miles.


Arizona schools interested in participating in this year's challenge can register at The deadline to register is March 1.


About World Fit
World Fit® is a walking program for elementary and middle school students in grades 3 through 12 which includes teachers, family and friends. Olympians and Paralympians adopt local schools to mentor and teach the importance of lifelong fitness and the Olympic values of perseverance, respect, and fair play. World Fit's mission is to eradicate childhood obesity and improve children's health and attitude towards fitness.


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 780,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.