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January 17, 2019

Health  Wellness Challenge inspires to live healthier

The Independent Health and Buffalo Bills Health & Wellness Challenge continues to motivate Western New Yorkers to get active, eat right and take charge of their health.

Orchard Park, NY – More than 27,000 individuals – including 2,725 new participants – registered for this past fall’s Health & Wellness Challenge, which ran from October 22 through December 2.

Participants were once again challenged to integrate physical activity and good nutrition into their daily lives. In turn, each participant, on average, logged nearly six hours of physical activity, while consuming 80 servings of fruits and vegetables and 138 glasses of water during the six-week initiative.

The Health & Wellness Challenge first kicked off in October 2014 and drew 2,300 participants. Since then, eight more rounds of the Challenge have been held, with participation steadily increasing each round, bringing the total number of registered participants to 27,186.

“It’s great to see that so many Western New Yorkers are improving their overall health and well-being by participating in the Health and Wellness Challenge,” said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and CEO, Independent Health. “There are many health challenges that can be tackled by making simple lifestyle changes. In partnering with the Buffalo Bills, we’ve been able to make it easy, fun and rewarding for people to adopt healthy habits and help us build a healthier community.”

“The Health & Wellness Challenge continues to flourish throughout Western New York as we have seen the number of participants increase with every session,” said Erica Muhleman, Pegula Sports and Entertainment’s executive vice president of business development. “Together with Independent Health, we have been able to offer fun ways to engage and inspire our community to live healthier lives, which is a collective goal of our partnership.”

Derby resident selected as the Challenge’s $5,000 grand prize winner

By taking the steps to lead healthier lives, all Health & Wellness Challenge participants were eligible to win prizes by meeting daily goals and completing challenges for points. Bethany Novak of Derby was the lucky winner of the Challenge’s $5,000 cash grand prize. In addition, a weekly $500 cash prize was awarded to six participants, while 36 participants were selected at random to receive a daily prize, including:

  • Bills game tickets
  • Bills autographed memorabilia
  • Tours of New Era Field for six people
  • $100 gift cards to the Official Bills store
  • Bills New Era caps
  • Bose wireless headphones
  • Fitness trackers

How the Health  Wellness Challenge works

Participants in the Health & Wellness Challenge earn points by meeting three main daily goals:

  1. 20 minutes of physical activity
  2. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables
  3. Drink eight glasses of water

Participants can also complete one “extra points” challenge each day to gain more chances to win. As an added bonus, individuals who refer their friends, family and co-workers earn 10 extra points for each person who register. Participants keep track of their progress and learn about that day’s “extra points” challenge by logging-in at The number of points earned throughout the Health & Wellness Challenge determine the number of chances participants have in the weekly and grand prize drawing. To be eligible to win a prize, participants have to be at least 18 years of age and a legal resident of New York state at the time of entry.

To keep the drive toward health and wellness alive, Independent Health and the Bills are planning to hold the 10th round of the Health & Wellness Challenge this spring.

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