History

Adventurer and author Dan Buettner is an explorer, at one time circling the globe on his bicycle to earn three Guinness Book of World Records.

But for Dan, trekking continents is about mysteries, not miles. And it was a mystery in Japan that became the seed from which Dan’s best-selling Blue Zones books would grow: What are the secrets of the world’s longest-living people?

“I knew instinctively that it was not just a great mystery, but a mystery people cared deeply about,” Dan says. “Everybody wants to live longer and better. I knew that the solution to this mystery would be something people could apply to their lives.”

In 2004, Dan partnered with National Geographic and a world-class team of longevity researchers, who eventually identified five pockets of the planet where people live longer – and better. In these “Blue Zones,” they found people reaching age 100 at rates 10 times higher than in the United States.

Dan and teams of scientists launched extensive research into each of the Blue Zones to identify the characteristics of their lives that explain longevity. Ultimately, they found that all Blue Zones share nine specific traits that we call the Power 9®.

Dan’s adventure – and all that he learned – is chronicled in his book “The Blue Zones,” as well as the follow-up “The Blue Zones Solutions.” The books became New York Times best-sellers and drew worldwide media attention. A subsequent best-seller, “Thrive,” takes a Blue Zones approach to solve another mystery: Why are the world’s happiest places the happiest?

The Blue Zones LLC is now dedicated to creating Blue Zones across the United States. The first effort, in Albert Lea, Minnesota, was a “stunning” success (learn more about our approach and other Blue Zones Projects).

We are now building Blue Zones in healthier cities and businesses across the nation. Our mission – to help people live longer, better lives – is spreading. Learn how you can get involved.

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