3 September 2021 | Adventist Health, the health facility system spread across the West Coast of the United States and Hawaii, is growing its focus from primarily treating the sick to investing in communities to help people live better and longer.

Adventist Health acquired Blue Zones, a network that works to improve well-being and longevity in communities across America.

The well-being improvement started with over 30,000 Adventist Health employees in Washington, Oregon, and California and is now being extended to what are called Blue Zone Projects across the US.

Two of these Blue Zone Projects are based in St. Helena, California, and Walla Walla, Washington. More than 50 additional communities across North America are already running Blue Zones Projects, involving over 4 million Americans.

“Participating communities have experienced double-digit drops in obesity and tobacco use and have saved millions of dollars in healthcare costs,” reports NAD News.

Blue Zones was founded in 2004 by Dan Buettner, National Geographic Explorer and Fellow, who identified locations in the world where people live longer and with better life quality.

“The original blue zones are diverse geographical and cultural regions — Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California — where residents live extraordinarily long and/or happy lives. After identifying five of the world’s blue zones, Buettner teamed up with National Geographic and took scientists back to each location to identify the lifestyle habits of these cultures. Residents of these regions have nine commonalities, known as the Power 9, which together contribute to physical, social and emotional well-being,” reports NAD news.

Blue Zones says the Power 9 are:

Incorporate movement into your daily life.
Find and cultivate your sense of purpose.
Enjoy regular downtime, especially on Sabbath.
Stop eating when you’re 80 percent full.
Aim to fill 95 percent of your plate with plants or plant products.
Enjoy time each day with friends and family.
Cultivate a sense of belonging through faith and fellowship.
Put your loved ones first.
Enjoy the benefits of a lifelong circle of friends.

The NAD reported that 80 percent of a person’s health comes from health behaviors, environment and socioeconomic issues, while clinical healthcare contributes a mere 20 percent.

“The Adventist Health well-being movement will focus on what happens when a health system takes steps to improve factors related to that 80 percent, outside hospital walls, to provide a path forward for individuals and entire communities to improve their health and resilience,” reports NAD news.

Learn more about Blue Zones at bluezones.com and find lifestyle news and tips at adventisthealth.org/blog.

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