Mark your calendars for October 14th, the first day to participate in The Big blue test. What is The Big blue test? It is a program of The Diabetes Hands Foundation. What is The Diabetes Hands Foundation? Why Blue? Why October 14th? These are the questions I had. Here are some answers.
The Diabetes Hands Foundation (DHF) is a nonprofit organization focused on people with diabetes and their loved ones. The mission is “to connect, engage, and empower people touched by diabetes.” The Values of DHF include Diversity and Respect, Transparency, Connection, and Personal Empowerment. For more information about DHF, visit the website at http://www.diabeteshandsfoundation.org/
The Diabetes Hands Foundation has several awareness initiatives including The Big blue test. This is a program that runs from October 14th to November 14th. People can test their blood glucose, be active for 14 to 20 minutes, and test again. Then, go to The Big blue test at http://www.bigbluetest.org and log the result. This program started in 2009 as a campaign to show people with diabetes the benefit of exercise and has now grown into a program to help people with diabetes. For each test logged, Roche will donate $5 to the campaign. All of the funds raised by the DHF (100%) go to nonprofit organizations that will provide diabetes services and supplies to underserved areas. People can participate in The Big blue test as many times as they can between October 14th and November 14th. Every time a test is logged, $5 is donated to a charity that is providing life-saving supplies to people with diabetes in need. What an easy way to help!
The Big blue test website reports that over 10,000 people participated between 2010 and 2011 with a goal of over 20,000 people in 2012. Of interest to me as a physical activity professional, DHF reports that “most participants in The Big blue test experience an average blood sugar drop of 20% from a little physical activity! Yes, only 14-20 minutes!
If you don’t have diabetes, you can still participate. Go to the website and log in. There is no need to test your blood glucose and you will still be counted as a participant ($5!). I encourage you to do the 14-20 minutes of exercise whether you have diabetes or not! You’ll feel good getting exercise and by helping others.
Before wrapping this up, what about the Blue and October 14th? Blue is from the blue circle, the International Diabetes Federation’s universal symbol for diabetes. October 14th starts the month leading into World Diabetes Day on November 14th.
Get your calendar and mark the dates. Talk to your co-workers, patients, their families, your family and friends. Encourage them to take The Big blue test as often as they can. Let’s see what we can do to bring awareness to diabetes and help to those in need who are touched by diabetes.
To see some great videos about The Big blue test, go to bigbluetest.org
On October 14th, I’ll start logging in. Will you?