Take one middle-aged guy in the lobby of a doctor’s office, add a very catchy song, mix in some hilarious dance moves, and you have the making of a highly effective commercial.
This commercial, just one aspect of broadcast, print, outdoor, online and transit advertising in the do campaign—launched in 2004 by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and the American Heart Association—has prompted people to think about how they can add physical activity into the things they do each day.
This public health campaign is inspiring people to “groove their bodies 10 minutes, three times a day” to improve their cardiovascular health. Fun suggestions include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, throwing a Frisbee with a friend, or parking in the back of the lot when going to the mall.
“Physical inactivity has become a serious health problem,” says Marc Manley, M.D., vice president and medical director of population health at Blue Cross. “Combined with poor diet, it’s the second-leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Here in Minnesota, 51 percent of all adults do not get enough activity. As a result, Minnesotans spend nearly half a billion dollars every year to treat related illnesses and conditions related to physical inactivity.”
Funded through Blue Cross’ tobacco lawsuit settlement, the campaign is part of a long-term initiative to tackle heart disease and cancer by addressing the root causes, explains Dr. Manley.
“Physical activity is great preventive medicine; it improves health and saves money,” he adds.
Individuals across the state have been inspired to get moving and feel better. The goal is to increase physical activity by 50 percent. Large-scale statewide surveys will monitor changes in behavior over time.
Local employers are taking advantage of the do campaign as well. Minneapolis-based Medtronic, CentraCare Health System in St. Cloud and Katolight Corporation in Mankato use do messages throughout their workplace to point out opportunities to be active. These messages are often incorporated into other employer wellness initiatives. do has many free resources available on its web site to show Minnesota employers how they can use do in the workplace. The web site includes the Employer Toolkit and playful posters with expressions such as “Warm up with the copier. Jog in place,” “Race the elevator,” and “This break room is now officially the break dance room.”
For more information about the do campaign, visit www.do-groove.com.