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FOR RELEASE: September 7 , 2006
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

September 20 is Senior Day at the Oklahoma State Fair
Seniors to Focus on Health and Exercise

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and Oklahoma Arthritis Network (OAN) are encouraging seniors to visit the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City on Senior Day, Wednesday, Sept. 20. All seniors age 55 and older will be admitted free that day.

As part of the activities offered for seniors, the OAN will be demonstrating a joint exercise experience at 9:15 a.m. and again at 12:30 p.m. led by Bill Heaton, Champions of Health “Ageless Hero”. The program is sponsored by the OSDH and the Arthritis Foundation to encourage seniors to exercise.

“Arthritis is the leading cause of disability and one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States, limiting the activities of more than 16 million adults. Visiting the Oklahoma State Fair is one way that seniors can remain active and have a good time while they exercise,” said OSDH Program Coordinator and occupational therapist, Marisa New. The state health department’s Arthritis Prevention and Education Program will provide free pedometers to seniors while supplies last.
About 30 percent of Oklahoma’s adult population report that a physician has diagnosed them as having arthritis. Nearly 42 percent say they do not engage in moderate or vigorous activity.

Other activities offered during Senior Day include door prizes, health and recreation exhibits, Jazzercise, a scavenger hunt, and a Golden Age contest beginning at 8:30 a.m., followed by storytelling, exercise, trivia pursuit, an antique tractor parade and pull contest, a spelling bee contest, and various dance and entertainment activities.

In addition, the following free health screenings will be provided:

  • blood pressure by the Oklahoma Blood Institute
  • blood sugar assessments and screenings by Universal Healthcare
  • chair massages provided by Central State Massage School
  • cholesterol check by Oklahoma Blood Institute
  • memory screening by Deaconess Senior Diagnostic Center, and
  • osteoporosis written assessments by Mercy Community Outreach.

For more information about the Senior Day activities at the State Fair view: http://www.oklahomastatefair.com/documents/Senior Day Link.pdf.

For information about arthritis exercise programs or OAN meetings, contact OSDH Program Coordinator Marisa New at 405/271-9444 ext. 56410, or visit this Web site: www.health.ok.gov/program/apep.

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