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Google works with Cleveland Clinic to offer new online exercise initiative

Cleveland Clinic : 20 May, 2008  (New Product)
Cleveland Clinic is collaborating with Google to launch of the new ‘Walk for Good’ online walking programme.
The ‘Walk for Good’ programme offers an easy-to-use web-based ‘gadget’ where users can track the duration and frequency of their walks and invite friends and family to join them.

The programme also contains health education video segments featuring leading Cleveland Clinic physicians who provide health and wellness tips and address topics in the areas of Sports Health, Exercise Physiology, Psychology, Nutrition and Cardiovascular Medicine. Users can also opt to receive daily and weekly articles written by Cleveland Clinic doctors, which provide them the opportunity to ‘learn on the go’.

'As a world-renowned healthcare institution, we feel a responsibility to take the lead in championing wellness initiatives which inspire individuals to embrace healthier living,' said Delos M Toby Cosgrove, chief executive officer and president of Cleveland Clinic. 'Cleveland Clinic is fully committed to the continued development of innovative programmes and approaches that integrate the best practices of traditional medicine with the latest advances in wellness, healthy living and disease prevention.'

In its commitment to disease prevention and treatment, Cleveland Clinic has sought to collaborate with government, business, civic leaders and the communities it serves to reduce the high costs associated with preventable chronic conditions. In doing so, Cleveland Clinic seeks to bridge the national focus from the provision of ‘sick’ care or disease treatment to the promotion of ‘health’ care, wellness and disease prevention.

'Walk for Good is a groundbreaking effort that brings health and wellness into the 21st century by marrying the latest in online technology with timely health and wellness information from a leading medical resource,' said C Martin Harris, MD, chief information officer, Cleveland Clinic. 'We are giving individuals a state-of-the-art tool they can use to incorporate healthy living into their daily routine.'

Over the last century, the healthcare industry has successfully worked to reduce some of the biggest threats to life expectancy, including infant mortality and infectious disease. However, the rise and long-term effects of preventable chronic illness rooted in unhealthy behavior are exacting a significant personal and economic toll on the nation.

The treatment of chronic medical conditions comprise more than 75 percent of the nation's $1.4 trillion medical expenditures and account for 70 percent of all deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

'Living a long and healthy life is less about genetics and more about choice. The high cost of chronic disease in this country can be attributed to three primary behaviors: tobacco, food, and physical activity,' said Michael F Roizen, MD, chief wellness officer, Cleveland Clinic. 'The 'Walk for Good' campaign provides nearly two-thirds of our country with a fun and free way to get active and get fit.'

Introducing regular exercise, such as walking, into a daily routine can have a tremendous benefit on an individual's overall health. According to CDC research, walking lengthens the life of individuals with diabetes, regardless of age, sex, race, body mass index, length of time since diagnosis, and presence of complications or functional limitations. The same study also found:

- People with diabetes who exercised by walking at least two hours a week lowered their mortality rate from all causes by 39 percent;

- Walking three to four hours a week reduced mortality from all causes by 54 percent;

- Risk of death from heart disease can be reduced by 34 percent by walking at least two hours per week and one cardiovascular death a year might be preventable for every 145 people persuaded to walk at least two hours a week.

Users can easily add the ‘Walk for Good’ gadget to iGoogle, the personalised Google homepage used by millions.
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