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S.C. BlueCross Issues National Walk @ Lunch Day Challenge to Employers

March 27, 2008

Columbia, S.C. -- BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is asking companies across the state to participate in the second annual National Walk @ Lunch DaySM on Wednesday, April 30, when employers nationwide will encourage their employees to take part in a 30-minute lunchtime walk.

The motivation behind National Walk @ Lunch Day is to encourage workers 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.

As employers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies around the nation will hold lunchtime walks for their employees. Employees plan to participate at numerous BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina locations, including Columbia, Charleston, Florence and Surfside Beach, S.C.; Augusta, Ga.; Columbus, Westerville and Wheelersburg, Ohio; and Blue Bell, Pa.

"We want to challenge other companies to encourage their employees to walk at or near the work site and make a commitment to getting regular exercise and eating better," said David Pankau, president of S.C. BlueCross’ BlueCross BlueShield Division. "Our hope is that individuals will enjoy the walk on April 30 and realize that they do have time to walk during lunch on a regular basis without disrupting their busy 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.

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.

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