Pennsylvania Students Walk More Than 5,000 Miles to Win the Humana Foundation's American Horsepower Challenge
LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 30, 2009 — The Humana Foundation, philanthropic arm of health-benefits company Humana Inc., announced today that 100 students in U.S. Representative Jason Altmire’s congressional district (PA-4) walked a combined 14.8 million steps to win first place in The American Horsepower Challenge. Those steps, equal to approximately 5,600 miles, mean the students burned more than 250,000 calories during the four-week challenge.
The American Horsepower Challenge is a unique exercise/video-game program intended to increase kids’ activity to improve their health. Nearly 1,600 students in 20 Congressional districts or states participated in the challenge, which ended earlier this month. Twenty members of Congress served as honorary participants. U.S. Representative Geoff Davis (KY-04) walked the most of the participating members of Congress – more than 162,000 steps.
“I am incredibly proud that the students in my district won this national competition,” said U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire (PA-04). “These kids excelled in making exercise a part of their daily routine. When you add it all up, they walked the roundtrip distance from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. nearly fifteen times – a truly remarkable result. I hope that this competition was only the first step these children will take towards living a long and healthy life.”
The 1,585 students and 20 Congress members who participated in the challenge walked a combined 132 million steps – or just more than 50,000 miles – that’s two trips around the Earth! Collectively, the participants burned 2.25 million calories or about 10,000 chocolate bars. If all those miles walked had been driven in a car, the carbon emissions would be equal to 22.1 metric tons.
“With a focus on children’s health and wellness, The Humana Foundation seeks opportunities to encourage young people to be more active,” said Virginia Kelly Judd, executive director of The Humana Foundation. “We’re delighted with the results of The American Horsepower Challenge program and congratulate all the outstanding participants for walking more than 132 million steps in four weeks.”
The five participating schools in Rep. Altmire’s district will each receive a $5,000 grant from The Humana Foundation for winning the challenge. Students at the five schools increased their activity an average of 48 percent during the challenge. The schools are:
* Midland Elementary/Middle School (Midland, PA)
* Hopewell Memorial Junior High School (Aliquippa, PA)
* Beaver Falls Middle School (Beaver Falls, PA)
* Deer Lakes Middle School (Russellton, PA)
* Franklin Regional Middle School (Murrysville, PA)
Here is the official order of finish in the challenge:
Win – Students in Rep. Jason Altmire (PA-4) district – 141,731 average steps per student
Place – Students in Sen. Mel Martinez (FL) district – 130,126 average steps per student
Show – Students in Rep. John Shadegg (AZ-3) district – 105,852 average steps per student
The American Horsepower Challenge is part of a trend known as “active gaming” that incorporates real-world movement into video games. For example, this program translated actual physical activity (steps walked) into an online race. Each student wore smart pedometers, called Actipeds, on their shoes to monitor their daily activity for four weeks. The steps were wirelessly uploaded to www.horsepowergame.com during the challenge. The Games for Health unit of Humana’s Innovation Center created the game and challenge.