Groundbreaking Blue Zones Project Expands to Canada
Airdrie in Alberta Aims to be the Healthiest City in Canada
With proven success improving population health in the United States, Blue Zones Project is pioneering the first Canadian Blue Zones community in Airdrie, Alberta. It is the first Blue Zones Project outside the United States.
As health and longevity decline in developed nations, the need for revolutionizing solutions is in great demand. Blue Zones Project brings 20 years of research, exploration, and solutions from the world’s most extraordinary cultures—the blue zones—where people live longer and better than anyone else on the planet.
The global expansion builds on Blue Zones Project’s model of continuous innovation, which has successfully helped over 48 communities improve their well-being, health, and happiness. It’s a proven solution to the rising rates of chronic disease, obesity, and loneliness in the developed world.
Blue Zones Project takes an environmental approach to health, improving street and park designs, public policy, and social involvement so that it’s easy for people to make healthy choices in the places they live, work, learn and play. These permanent and semi-permanent changes impact current and future generations. Participating communities have experienced double-digit drops in obesity and smoking, millions of dollars of healthcare savings, and measurable drops in employee absenteeism.
Blue Zones Project success is fueled by the principle that good health is a community effort, and Airdrie already has a strong start: Lead sponsor Abrio Health and the City of Airdrie have joined forces with the Calgary Foundation, Alberta Blue Cross, and Alberta Health Services to bring the well-being initiative to the region.
Abrio Health Board Chair Stan Grad says that they’ve spoken to hundreds or Airdronians about how to be healthier. “We studied various data on the health of our community and the current state of our extraordinary existing local health and health care services,” says Grad. “We also reviewed various international models for all-in community engagement in health. We’ve chosen to partner with Blue Zones because of their proven track record with larger-scale community engagement, their unique measurement acumen and their proven results in improving health outcomes and healthy life expectancy with reduced health care costs.”