Blue Zones Project

Variety of vegetables
Variety of vegetables

Blue Zones Overview

It all started when a team of researchers and scientists set out on a quest to uncover the secret to leading a longer, healthier, happier life. They discovered five places in the world, called Blue Zones® areas, where people enjoy active lives with less illness well into their golden years.

Sign Up, Pledge, and Take Action University of Iowa!

A lot is happening in Iowa and in the Iowa City area to help transform our community into a model for living according to the Blue Zones Power 9® Principles! Learn more by visiting Blue Zones Project/What's Happening in Iowa. As the largest employer in the Iowa City community, the University of Iowa is seeking out a Blue Zones Worksite Designation and we need your help!

Our Goal

In order to become a Blue Zones Designated Worksite, the University of Iowa needs to collect a minimum of 4,000 Personal Pledges indicating that 25% of our workforce is dedicated to enhancing their well-being thereby improving the health of our community.

How you can help individually

  1. Complete your profile at Blue Zones Project/Join Today
  2. Pledge to complete at least one "Action Item" and then complete it to get credit.
  3. Check the "I have an organization code" box and use our code: uiowa.

The Personal Pledge is a list of small steps you can take in your daily life to provide lasting benefits for physical and emotional health. Rather than selecting something that you already do, we encourage you to stretch yourself to achieve even greater well-being! 

How your work department can help

liveWELL staff and interns are available to come to your department to provide an overview of Iowa City's Blue Zones Project. Please allow 30 minutes for a presentation. A presentation will include:

  • Blue Zones overview
  • Power 9 Principles overview
  • Opportunity to complete Personal Pledge
  • 'Healthy Activity' of some sort: stretching exercises, healthy potluck, icebreaker to build social connections, walking group, etc.

Regularly scheduled staff meetings or learn over lunch formats work best for these presentations. We encourage the department to supply a healthy lunch or potluck as a part of the Blue Zones presentation. 

To schedule a Blue Zones presentation at your department contact Erin Litton via email or at 319-353-2974. 

There are nine common ingredients that the people living in the Blue Zones® communities share, which all contribute to their well-being. These nine powerful, but simple lifestyle behaviors are termed the Power 9® Principles. They are:

  1. Move Naturally
  2. Know Your Purpose
  3. Down Shift (slow down daily, rest, take vacation)
  4. 80% Rule (stop eating when you're 80% full)
  5. Plant Slant
  6. Wine @ 5
  7. Right Tribe
  8. Community
  9. Loved Ones First