With summer on the horizon, many kids may be thinking ahead to outdoor activities and fun in the sun. To ensure kids are well-equipped to enjoy this break and stay active, UnitedHealthcare in Colorado provided 44 graduating fifth-grade students at Paris Elementary School with new mountain bikes and helmets.
Each spring, UnitedHealthcare donates new bikes to Denver-area children, encouraging them to get outside, enjoy the summer weather and have fun as they exercise. Physical activity can help alleviate depression and is vital to tackling the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, which may lead to chronic illnesses in adulthood.
Denver Broncos offensive guard Dalton Risner of the RisnerUpFoundation participated in the event, helping to distribute the bikes and encouraging the students to be active and healthy over the summer.
This is the fifth year UnitedHealthcare has donated new mountain bikes and helmets to local fifth graders.
The Colorado plan has taken a special interest in causes that support children living active and healthy lives. In addition to providing $10,000 for new bicycles and helmets to underserved children, the health plan also donates $10,000 in winter coats each fall, partnering with local school systems for distribution.
“UnitedHealthcare is committed to supporting the needs of our local communities,” said Marc Neely, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Colorado and Wyoming. “This time of year, encouraging children to be active outdoors begins with having a bike to ride. We want these children to have the safe and appropriate gear to be able to be active outside this summer by riding their bike.”
Marc, along with UnitedHealthcare employee volunteers, were on site at the event, helping to distribute the new bicycles and make sure the kids were
Childhood activity is an indicator of future health and wellness. Childhood obesity may have devastating consequences and is growing into a national health crisis – rates have tripled since 1980, with nearly 1 in 3 children being overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationwide, approximately 19.7% of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 years are obese.
In Colorado, 11% of children are considered obese.