Regular physical activity is essential to the health of both children and adults. People who are physically active tend to live longer and have a lower risk of heart disease, obesity related conditions and type 2 diabetes. Play has even shown to improve childrens performance in school.*
Through our strong partnerships in the community, HCSC made significant investments to increase physical activity among 2.5 million children and their families across our states last year. Whether it was building a playground in Albuquerque with KaBOOM!; supporting Oklahoma City’s bike sharing program; or opening a new park in Chicago, HCSC was committed to providing safe places to walk, run, bike and play.
Examples of key partnerships and collaborations we supported to help build healthier and active communities across our five states include:
Play stimulates kids’ imagination, instills problem-solving skills, teaches them how to work together and share, and it gets them moving. As a key partner through our Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® initiative, we work with KaBOOM! to increase physical activity among children and families.
In 2015, our employees helped build eight new playgrounds, four imagination playgrounds and five shade structures across Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas; providing more than 14,800 children with safe and fun places to play in their community.
Bike-sharing programs are popping up all over the U.S., with more than 21,000 shared bikes, in at least 32 cities. We have made major investments in bike- sharing programs in our communities, funding more than 6,600 bikes in Illinois (Divvy), Montana, Oklahoma City (Spokies) and Texas (Houston B-cycle). Not only did we get our communities active, but we made our cities a little greener by providing this transportation alternative.
In 2015, we took a unique approach in Montana and partnered with a local college and bike shops to provide mountain bikes for students. Learn more about how this collaboration helped Carroll College students get active.
Parks and Recreation
Parks and recreation programs have a positive impact on the social, physical and mental health of individuals and their communities.** HCSC has made contributions in all of our states to help revitalize parks and support recreation programs that promote fitness among children and families. In 2015, we invested more than $2 million towards this effort.
Take a look at the grand opening of Maggie Daley Park, 20-acres of park and recreation space right in front of HCSC’s Chicago headquarters building.