With millions continuing to work from home to stop the spread of COVID-19, HealthCode is “rebooting” April’s Million Mile Month with a May virtual challenge to encourage people to keep moving and stay healthy.

“In a time when millions are staying at home, we are rebooting Million Mile Month on May 1 to give everyone another incentive to stay active and to maintain healthy habits,’’ said Steve Amos, CEO and founder of HealthCode. “If people missed Million Mile Month this year, this is an opportunity to join the challenge. For current participants, this reboot will enable them to build on their momentum — and raise the bar – while staying active, healthy and connected.’’

HealthCode’s Million Mile Month is a virtual local-to-global wellness challenge in which participants track  physical activity – from walking to dancing to yoga to gardening – with a goal of reaching 1 million miles collectively as a global community in a month.

With schools, gyms and offices closed and millions of employees working from home to slow the spread of COVID-19, HealthCode kicked off Million Mile Month a week early on March 25 and as of April 23, more than 373,000 miles have been logged globally and 26 million calories have been burned.

Research shows getting moving will pay off in the long run.

A new study by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  found higher daily step counts were associated with lower mortality risk for those over 40-years-old.

The study released March 24 tracked 4,800 people over 40 for seven days from 2003 through 2006. They then followed them for mortality through 2015. Researchers found those taking 8,000 steps per day lowered their mortality risk by 51 percent while taking 12,000 steps per day was associated with a 65 percent lower risk compared to those taking just 4,000 steps, according to a CDC news release.

Janet Fulton, Ph.D., of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. , said: “Being physically active has many benefits, including reducing a person’s risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. And on a daily basis, it can help people feel better and sleep better.’’

Registration is now open for the May Million Mile Month challenge. Participants  can sign up on the Million Mile Month registration page and log miles or minutes on the HealthCode online activity tracker. Throughout the month, the program leaderboard is updated with miles achieved globally. Participants can join as an individual or as part of an organization.

There is no cost to participate. However, 10 percent of optional registration donations will go to support food banks through  Feeding America.

Amos said: “Social distancing is forcing us to be even more sedentary and isolated. Right now, it is more important than ever to provide an incentive for individuals to take steps to stay motivated while battling stress and remaining connected with colleagues, friends and family.’’

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