What is Blue Zones Project?

Blue Zones Project is a community-wide well-being improvement initiative to help make healthy choices easier.

Brought to Elkhart and South Bend, Indiana, as a part of an innovative partnership between Beacon Health System and Blue Zones Project® by Healthways. Blue Zones Project is a community well-being improvement initiative that encourages changes to our surroundings and built-environment that lead to healthier options. When all parts of the community participate – from our worksites and schools to our restaurants and grocery stores – the small changes each add up to huge benefits for the community. Together, we can lower healthcare costs, boost productivity, and improve quality of life.

History of Blue Zones

What began as a New York Times bestseller by National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner has evolved into a global movement that’s inspiring people to live longer, more active lives with lower rates of chronic disease.
From Sardinia, Italy, to Okinawa, Japan, to Loma Linda, California, people are living vibrant, active lives well into their hundreds. Buettner calls these areas Blue Zones® and they’re the inspiration behind his book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Buettner’s research, along with a global longevity study, have led to a program that help us live longer, healthier, and happier lives.

Transforming Well-Being in Elkhart and South Bend

Help the people of Elkhart and South Bend live a longer, healthier life by working together to become a Blue Zones Community.

Blue Zones Project and Beacon are committed to making Elkhart and South Bend Blue Zones Communities®, where people live healthier, happier lives. That means developing more engaged and more productive residents operating businesses focused on well-being, for themselves and for their neighbors. When the entire community works together, we can lower rates of obesity, smoking, and chronic disease and create a healthier, happier place for us all to live, work, and play.

icon-extra_(1)Improve Personal Well-Being
We can make healthier choices in our own homes and personal lives, too. From moving naturally more often to eating more vegetables, from connecting to our neighbors to finding individual purpose in our lives, making small changes that impact your life daily, can add years to your life and life to your years.

icon-communitypolicy_(2)Stand for Well-Being
Community policy has a big impact on healthy choices. Sidewalks, bike lanes, community gardens, mobile food markets, farmers’ markets and other community infrastructure affect our ability to move naturally, connect socially, and access healthy food. When we make sustainable changes to our surroundings, we can change behaviors and help our whole community lead healthier, happier, and longer lives.

icon-grocerystores_(1)Stock up on Well-Being
From farmers’ markets to grocery stores, healthier food options are increasingly needed across North Central Indiana. Blue Zones Project can help local grocers educate their customers on improving their family’s nutrition and provide easier access to healthful and tasty foods. Blue Zones Project can help local grocers increase traffic by making the healthy choice the easy choice. 

icon-restaurants_(2)Put Well-Being on the Menu
Elkhart and South Bend have plenty of choices when it comes to eating out. And Blue Zones Project can help restaurants offer even healthier choices to keep and attract more customers. By surrounding ourselves with like-minded people who are focused on healthier living, we can move from dieting fads to meaningful lifestyle changes and drive more traffic to the restaurants that are offering delicious, good-for-you menu options.


icon-schools_(1)Get Schooled in Well-Being
We all know that healthier students do better in school. And learning about healthy choices isn’t limited to the classroom. Blue Zones Project shares best practices from around the country on how to instill better eating habits, increase physical activity, implement tobacco-free policies, and create a healthier school environment to help students and their parents form healthy habits for life.

icon-worksites_(1)Making Well-Being Work
We spend a lot of our time at work, so having healthy choices at our workplace is critical. Blue Zones Project offers programs and tools to worksites that will inspire employees to be happier and more productive and take healthy habits home with them. A healthier employee costs less, too. When workers feel physically and emotionally healthy and connected to their colleagues, they miss less work, make greater contributions, and have lower healthcare costs.



If you have questions, we'd love to talk with you. Please contact us at bluezonesprojectindiana@healthways.com.


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You can ignite a movement to transform the well-being of your community.

Share these resources with people in your community to get them excited about Blue Zones Project and the opportunity to make Elkhart and South Bend healthier, happier places to live, work, and play.
   TedMed_ScreenShot     Ted Med Video: How to Live to be 100 - Dan Buettner
Share this TedMed with people interested in learning more about the origins of Blue Zones Project and the original Blue Zones areas.