The Blue Zones Project® is a systems approach. We implement long-term, evidence-backed policies and interventions that optimize environments. Citizens, schools, employers, restaurants, grocery stores, and community leaders collaborate on policies and programs that improve health and well-being.
The program is based on getting broad and committed buy-in at a community level. Specific tasks are required to be a participant at each level. Becoming a Blue Zones® Community requires:
- At least 20 percent of citizens sign the Blue Zones Personal Pledge and complete one action.
- Completion of the Blue Zones Community® Policy Pledge.
- At least 50 percent of the top twenty community-identified employers become a Blue Zones Worksite®.
- At least 25 percent of independently or locally owned restaurants become a Blue Zones Restaurant®.
- At least 25 percent of public schools become a Blue Zones School®.
- At least 25 percent of grocery stores become a Blue Zones Grocery Store®.
- Have a funding source.
What we do
Our program is based on the assumption that we spend 90 percent of our lives in a 20-mile “Life Radius™”. Within that life radius we focus on optimizing:
- The built environment: Improving roads and transportation options, parks, and public spaces.
- Municipal policies and ordinances: Promoting activity and discouraging junk food marketing and smoking.
- Restaurants, schools, grocery stores and workplaces: Building healthier options into the places people spend most of their time.
- Social networks: Forming and nurturing social groups that support healthy habits.
- Habitat: Helping people design homes that nudge them into eating less and moving more.
- Inner selves: Encouraging people to reduce stress, find their purpose, and give back to the community.
Why it works
Rather than relying on individual behavior change, the program focuses on making the healthy choice the easy choice. Instead of nagging people to exercise, we make walking easier and more desirable than driving. By making wholesome foods more accessible and less expensive than junk foods, people begin to eat healthier naturally.
Our approach is based on the cornerstone of sustainability. Unlike other health or wellness initiatives, we address the environment not just the individual, resulting in long-term impact that stands the test of time.