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A 'Twist' on Wellness

Salsa, Swing, Waltz or Hip-Hop for Better Health on National Dance Day

DETROIT – July 19, 2010 – Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is encouraging southeast Michigan businesses and residents of all ages to tap, twist, hustle and jive their way to better health by participating in National Dance Day on July 31, 2010.

Savvy Michigan employers know that it pays to invest in worksite wellness, and HAP is encouraging its employer customers to embrace dance as a "twist" on traditional worksite wellness. The nonprofit health plan will set an example by hosting a dance-themed worksite wellness event for HAP employees the week prior to National Dance Day.

"The health and wellness benefits of dance are endless – from stress reduction to improved coordination and decreased risk for heart disease," said Terri Kachadurian, director, Worksite Wellness and Health Promotion at HAP.  "Whether an employer invites a salsa instructor to teach lessons during the lunch hour or plays a fun dance video for employees to enjoy during breaks, we hope business throughout the state will use National Dance Day as a fun, new way to get employees up and moving during their workday."

Researchers from The Mayo Clinic, The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and others have found numerous health and wellness benefits associated with dancing, including:

  • Improves circulation
  • Burns an estimated five to ten calories per minute, depending on speed and intensity
  • Keeps joints lubricated
  • Exercises the brains through recall of steps and patterns
  • Strengthens muscles and builds coordination, which can help to prevent injury
  • Elevates mood by raising endorphin levels

U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), introduced the resolution to recognize July 31 as National Dance Day. This grassroots initiative promotes health and wellness and encourages Americans of all ages to get moving and express themselves through all styles of dance. NDD is presented by the Dizzy Feet Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by "So You Think You Can Dance" producer Nigel Lythgoe, director Adam Shankman, "Dancing with the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba and actress Katie Holmes.

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