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BlueCross BlueShield and BlueChoice HealthPlan Challenge S.C. Companies to Participate in National Walk @ Lunch Day on April 18

April 11, 2007

Columbia, S.C.-- BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina are calling on employers and consumers to walk their way to better health starting with the first annual National Walk @ Lunch Day on Wednesday, April 18.

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 peoples' schedules are built around the workday, so National Walk @ Lunch Day is designed to fit into – not compete with – their daily schedules.

As employers, BlueCross companies nationwide will host lunchtime walks on April 18. Employees of BlueCross BlueShield and its subsidiary companies in Columbia and Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Augusta, Ga.; and Columbus, Westerville and Wheelersburg, Ohio; will start walking at noon for 30 minutes at their work locations.

"National Walk @ Lunch Day is designed to educate millions of consumers about how their daily decisions can have an impact on their health and well-being. It also creates an opportunity for employers to engage their employees in physical activity that promotes a healthier workplace environment," said John Little, MD, corporate vice president of Health Care Services for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

National Walk @ Lunch Day will kick off the fifth annual WalkingWorks® Capitol Hill Challenge in Washington, D.C. The Capitol Hill Challenge is a six-week walking competition that pits the House of Representatives versus the Senate. WalkingWorks is a Blue companies’ program created to help consumers live healthier lives and reduce unnecessary medical costs due to physical inactivity.

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, type 2 diabetes and improving the health of muscles, bones and joints.

BlueChoice HealthPlan is a wholly owned subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., both are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina includes more than 20 subsidiaries involved in health insurance services, U.S. DOD health plan and Medicare contracts, and other insurance and employee benefits.

WalkingWorks and BlueChoice are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. 

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