Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan challenges Michigan to "Stop the Slump" during Employee Health and Fitness Month On average, it takes 21 days to build a habit - the Blues encourage Michigan to make healthy lifestyle changes throughout May

DETROIT, May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Spending long periods of time at your desk increases your chances of developing cardiovascular disease and "slumping" during the final hours of the work day. So Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is encouraging Michigan residents with more sedentary lifestyles to "Stop the Slump" and get active as part of Employee Health and Fitness month in May.

  • On average, Americans sit more than nine hours a day.
  • People who have jobs where they sit for long periods are two times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease compared to those who sit for shorter periods.
  • After sitting for two hours, the good cholesterol, HDLs drop by 20 percent.

"During this month you can build a healthier habit that can last and benefit you a lifetime," said Grace Derocha, registered dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator with the Blues. "Make small, slow and steady changes you know will work for you, such as standing at your desk for part of your work day, incorporating a mini workout while at your desk, or walking during lunch."

The Blues are asking Michigan residents to get moving all month long by incorporating some form of activity at 3 p.m. everyday in May – from stretches, to walking meetings, or even a five-to-ten minute workout at your desk. Michiganders can share their stories on how they are taking action to "stop the slump" on Facebook by liking BCBSM.  People on Twitter can follow the #WellnessWeds hashtag and use the hashtag in their own Tweets each Wednesday in May.

According to Derocha, moving more throughout the work day has a number of benefits - it gets your blood flowing, resulting in a reduction of body aches and pains, headaches and stress. It also increases productivity and makes the work day more enjoyable.

  • According to fitness.gov, exercise positively effects mental health while reducing anxiety, stress and generally putting people in a positive mood.
  • In a study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting, researchers found that when workers used their company gym, they reported that they were more productive and worked better with their co-workers.

The Blues continue to offer programs and services to help lead Michigan residents to a healthier future :

  • Win By Losing: A weight loss challenge for Blues members to lose weight at work while having fun, earning bragging rights, and eating well and exercising.
  • Building Healthy Communities: A comprehensive, school-wide childhood obesity prevention program led by the Center for School Health in the College of Education at Wayne State University. The Building Healthy Communities partners share a core commitment to decreasing the risk and incidence of childhood obesity, especially in Michigan's low-income urban areas.
  • Blue Health Connection: Provides dedicated health support to help Blues members be their healthiest, whatever their health status.
  • Ahealthiermichigan.org: Resources to help Michigan make better decisions about diet and exercise, as well as information on creating and sustaining nurturing communities and successful businesses.
  • Make the Play for Healthy Habits video contest: See how kids, grades 4-8, suggest making Michigan Healthier.
  • Healthy Blue Xtras: A program that offers big savings and special discounts to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network members. Enjoy exclusive savings on healthy products and services from groceries to fitness gear and travel from companies across the great state of Michigan.

Learn more about creating a healthy workplace and workforce by visiting aHealthierMichigan.org

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan



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