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S.C. BlueCross Announces Second Annual National Walk @ Lunch Day

March 04, 2008

Columbia, S.C. -- BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina announced today that the second annual National Walk @ Lunch DaySM will be held during lunchtime hours on Wednesday, April 30, 2008.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies around the country, as well as other employers, will encourage their employees to wear comfortable walking shoes to work that day and participate in a 30-minute lunchtime walk.

The motivation behind National Walk @ Lunch Day is to encourage people to take time during their lunch breaks to start walking toward better health. Most Americans' schedules are built around the workday, so National Walk @ Lunch Day is designed to fit into, not compete with, their daily schedules.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association created National Walk @ Lunch Day to encourage Americans to live healthier lives by incorporating walking into their daily activities. Last year, 30 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico hosted lunchtime walks on National Walk @ Lunch Day, and tens of thousands of Blue employees, customers and community leaders participated.

"Lunchtime walks are a great way for companies to demonstrate that even the busiest employees have time for exercise," said David Pankau, president of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina’s BlueCross BlueShield division. "Just a few minutes of walking every day can become part of a healthy lifestyle that lowers the risk of serious health problems."

The national walking effort is the next step of WalkingWorks®, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association program to help Americans improve their health and reduce unnecessary medical costs due to physical inactivity. WalkingWorks was developed in partnership with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the cost to treat illness and chronic disease caused by inactive lifestyles is nearly $1,000 for every family in America, every year. Simply getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as a brisk walk, at least five times a week has significant health benefits, such as lowering the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, and improving the health of muscles, bones and joints. [Source:  Physical Activity and Health, A Report of the Surgeon General, 1996.]

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and its family of companies include more than 20 subsidiaries involved in health insurance services, U.S. DOD health plan and Medicare contracts, and other insurance and employee benefits services. National Walk @ Lunch Day is a service mark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and WalkingWorks is a registered mark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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