ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., May 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As the world around us continues to get faster, we seem to be slowing down. More than 60 percent of people today describe their behavior as "sedentary" or only "lightly active," and 73 percent acknowledge they need to be moving more1. This increase in physical inactivity can be attributed to factors such as job types, technology habits and local environment, but what's worrisome is that a sedentary lifestyle may negatively impact mental well-being and physical health. That's why today, Degree Deodorant – the world's number one deodorant2 and longtime proponent of moving more – is formalizing its mission by committing to help create movement opportunities, tools and resources for 10 million people by 2024 through a variety of partnerships and programs.
To get started, Degree is joining forces with Blue Zones, global experts in community health and well-being transformation, to launch a "Made To Move" grant program that will provide half a million dollars in funding for city projects that encourage increased physical movement, with the ultimate goal of promoting more walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly environments for all ages, incomes and abilities.
Five communities will receive funding from Degree for technical assistance from Blue Zones' built environment experts on ways to advance activity-friendly design, as well as support for movement-first policies and projects tailored to their needs. Examples include, but are not limited to, projects such as:
- Repurposing vehicle lanes for various modes of active transportation
- Creating protected or buffered bicycle lanes
- Completing shared-use trail links
- Improving local pedestrian environments (e.g.: curb extensions and crosswalks)
- Installing parklets in a downtown or neighborhood business district
Cities will be selected and announced this summer with technical assistance, planning and community events rolling out in 2019. Physical project builds will extend into 2020. As part of their partnership, Degree and Blue Zones will measure impact for each city project at multiple touchpoints to track against the brand's larger commitment.
Community organizations and city officials can visit BlueZones.com to apply and access Degree and Blue Zones' "Made To Move" grant criteria and supporting documentation. Everyone looking to move more can visit DegreeDeodorant.com for Blue Zones-approved tips and inspiration.
"At Degree, our team and products are guided by the saying, 'the more you move, the more you live.' We develop deodorants that react directly to movement so people can stay fresher, longer and push a bit further today than yesterday," said Dawn Hedgepeth, Vice President of Unilever Deodorants. "We're thrilled to put our purpose of helping people move more into action through partnerships and programs that share our passion for movement and deliver on our ultimate goal to help people improve their health and well-being."
Moving Like the Blue Zones
Blue Zones Founder and National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner identified five places in the world – dubbed blue zones – where people live the longest (into their 100s), and are healthiest: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California. These five regions share nine common behaviors that contribute to longevity – one of them being the shared activity of moving naturally each day. Blue Zones' inhabitants are known for active transportation, such as hiking, walking and biking, as well as activities with movement built in like gardening, swimming and even household chores.
"The longest-lived people in the world live in environments that nudge them into movement every 20 minutes," said Buettner. "In our community transformation work, we help optimize city streets, sidewalks and public spaces so that residents can move more, socialize more, and live longer and better. We're so happy to have partnered with Degree on this grants initiative so that more cities can become more walkable, bikeable and livable. These lasting changes will encourage daily movement for both current and future generations for many years to come."
A Commitment to Movement
To further its mission of helping to create movement tools and resources, Degree is also giving 10 people the chance to win3 a #MadeToMove essentials pack with necessities designed to help jumpstart one's movement goals. Simply post an image on Instagram of how you love to move (whether outdoors or indoors), follow and tag @Degree and use the hashtags #MadeToMove and #Sweepstakes to be eligible3 for consideration.
Degree Deodorant's purpose-driven work supports the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. This strategy sets out to decouple Unilever's growth from its environmental footprint while increasing its positive social impact. The Company focuses on improving health and well-being for more than 1 billion people, reducing environmental impact by half, and enhancing livelihoods for millions of people around the world. Unilever and Degree share the brand's "move more" mission and have teamed up with partners throughout the years that embody a movement-first lifestyle like professional athletes, dance organizations and sports leagues just to name a few. Movement is just one core component of Unilever's well-being framework. It is woven throughout the company's U.S. locations in a variety of ways including on-site access to well-being rooms and fitness center at the U.S. headquarters, internal grants and benefits that incentivize employees to pursue their own passions linked to movement, agile work practices which promote daily movement and internal programs that led to receiving a "2018 Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles®" Gold Award from the National Business Group on Health4.
Asia Young at Weber Shandwick
About Blue Zones, LLC
Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better. The company's work is rooted in explorations done by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five cultures of the world—or blue zones regions —with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older.
The original research and findings were released in the bestselling books The Blue Zones Solution, The Blue Zones of Happiness, The Blue Zones, and Thrive. Using original Blue Zones research, Blue Zones Project® works with cities to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city's environment, policy, and social networks.
Participating communities have experienced double-digit drops in obesity and tobacco use and have saved millions of dollars in healthcare costs. Currently, 48 communities in eleven states have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 3.3 million Americans nationwide. For more information, visit BlueZones.com.
About Unilever United States, Inc.
Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. In the United States, the portfolio includes brand icons such as Axe, Ben & Jerry's, Breyers, Caress, Degree, Dollar Shave Club, Dove, Good Humor, Hellmann's, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Love Beauty and Planet, Magnum, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond's, Popsicle, Pure Leaf, Q-tips, Schmidt's Naturals, Seventh Generation, Simple, Sir Kensington's, St. Ives, Suave, Sundial Brands, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, TAZO, TIGI, TONI&GUY, TRESemmé and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.
Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan underpins the company's strategy and commits to:
- Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
- Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
- Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.
For more information on Unilever U.S., its brands, and the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan visit: www.unileverusa.com
1Degree/Rexona commissioned research on physical activity levels among 1,007 adult Americans aged between 18 and 44 years old using the services of Reputation Leaders, an independent research firm. Interviews were conducted online between June 22nd – July 3rd 2018 and the data was weighted to be nationally representative of all U.S. adults by key demographics of age, gender and region.
2Based on Nielsen unit sales information for the total markets (latest 12 months)
3#MadeToMove Essentials Pack includes six-month gym membership (maximum $250 value), water bottle, gym bag, yoga mat & resistance bands; NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to 50 U.S. & DC, 18+ Ends 5/20 Rules: www.unileversweepsrules.com/degreemove