Blue Zones Project Results: Fort Worth, TX

  • 31% decrease in smoking, reducing smoking rate to 13.5%

  • Nine-point increase in residents who exercise at least 30 minutes three or more days of the week, now at 62%

  • Overall 2018 Well-Being Index score rose to 62.5, a gain of 3.7 points or 6% since 2014

  • $20B Lifetime Reduced Smoking Value

Since the launch of Blue Zones Project in Fort Worth, the health and well-being of residents has surged while the U.S. overall health score has dropped. According to the annual Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index®, Fort Worth’s overall 2018 Well-Being Index score rose to 62.5, a gain of nearly four points since 2014, when the city began working with Blue Zones Project®.

Each point increase in well-being for a population leads to approximately a two percent reduction in ER visits and hospital utilization, and to approximately a one percent reduction in total health care costs. This equals tens of millions of dollars of healthcare savings per year.

Meanwhile the U.S. Well-Being Index score—which outpaced the Fort Worth score by 3 points in 2014—is 61.3, a decline of 0.5 over the same period. Compared annually to close to 190 metro areas reported nationally, Fort Worth’s equivalent rank for well-being rose from 185th in 2014 to 31st in 2019.

According to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index (WBI)

  • Adult residents of the Fort Worth have reported substantially elevated levels of overall well-being in the four years since measurement began in 2014.
  • Fort Worth’s Well-Being Index score 2018 = 62.5
  • Fort Worth’s Well-Being Index score 2014 = 58.8

The section of the city with the lowest well-being, East Southeast, saw the greatest improvement. With a 10.9% well-being improvement over five years, which is a 6.1-point increase moving from 55.9 in 2014 to 62.0 in 2018.

What happens when you increase well-being by 1-point?

  • 2.2% less likelihood of hospital admission
    1.7% less likelihood of ER visit
    1.0% less likelihood of incurring healthcare costs

What happens when you increase well-being by 10%?

  • 5.0% fewer unscheduled absences
    5.0% higher reported job performance
    6.0% more days of ‘best work’ in 28-day period

*This occurred during a period of decline in well-being nationally, with the U.S. Well-Being Index score dropping from 61.8 in Q2-2014 to 61.3 in Q2-2018.

Fort Worth moved from 185th to 58th in the Gallup-Sharecare annual database of around 190 U.S. communities. Fort Worth has also had statistically significant improvement in all five elements of well-being since baseline year.

Reduced Smoking Rates in Fort Worth, TX

  • Adult Smoking Rate in 2018 = 13.5%
  • Adult Smoking Rate in 2014 = 19.6%

Fort Worth has saved an estimated $268 million in 2018 compared to 2014 based due to the reduced smoking rate among its adult residents.

Gallup estimates Fort Worth’s lost productivity due to smoking (at a rate if 19.6%) was about $602 million per year across all of its employers in 2014. In 2018 Gallup estimates that these lost productivity costs were reduced by about $187 million per year as a function of the lower smoking rate, likely representing a substantial boost to the economy.

In Fort Worth, the 6.1 percentage point estimated reduction in adult smoking translates to 38,074 fewer smokers than in 2014, yielding a savings in health care utilization of about $81 million per year compared to that year.

Other well-being improvements

  • Exercise 30 plus minutes, 3x days, week: Improved 9 points from 53% in 2014 to 62% in 2018
  • Agree city/area is perfect place for you: Improved from 61.9% in 2014 to 65.6% in 2018
  • Agree proud of community: Improved 5.6 points from 63.8% in 2014 to 69.4% in 2018
  • Schools & Youth Impact
  • Won $3.2 Million in Safe Routes to School funding for seven
    FWISD schools
  • Youth smoking decrease: Percentage of youth who report
    currently smoking cigarettes at least once in the last 30 days has declined from 9% in 2015 to 5.5% in 2017, according to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBS)
  • Youth e-cigarette decrease: Percentage of youth who report currently using electronic vaping products at least once in the last 30 days has declined from 19.9% in 2015 to 7.4% in 2017, according to the YRBS Policy Impact & Funding
  • Partnered with City and community partners to secure over $9.9 Million in funding for built environment policies and infrastructure projects and $656 Thousand in funding for community and school gardens, increasing fresh fruits and vegetables in schools, and a corner store transformation
  • $15 Million allocated for sidewalks and bicycle infrastructure and $5 Million allocated for Safe Routes to School improvements out of 2018 bond, ten-fold increase in SRTS funding from previous bond
  • Significant increase in the number of miles of bicycle infrastructure: Miles of bike lanes have increased from 9.6 miles in 2010 to 86.8 miles in 2018, and miles of bike routes (sharrows or bike route signage) have increased from 68 miles in 2010 to 87.2 miles in 2018.

Food Systems Case Study

  • City Healthy Food Financing Initiative – with low to no interest loans, retailers can open, renovate or expand retail outlets that provide fresh produce.
  • Urban Agricultural Ordinance – allows vacant lots within the city to be used for the development of urban farms with rezoning. Community and backyard gardens allowed to have small temporary sales on-site.

Media Valuation

  • Media mentions at $4,424,635 advertising equivalency
  • 2.3B total reach
  • 100% positive or neutral coverage
  • 2,195 total news stories
“Fort Worth showed early promise in its efforts to improve the well-being of its residents with impressive gains in 2015 and 2016 compared to its baseline year of 2014. After mirroring national trends and taking a step back last year, Fort Worth’s latest jump in well- being in 2018, as the U.S. continues to decline, securely establishes it as a best practice example of what a community can accomplish when it sustains a focused commitment to well-being. The work of the Blue Zones Project in Fort Worth is playing an important role in the improving well-being culture and associated outcomes of the community.”
Dan Witters

Principal at Gallup