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Tuesday 20 August 2019
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20 Jun 2018
‘Blue Zone Communities’ to be explored at GWS

Dan Buettner – who identified the five places in the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives and founded Blue Zone wellness communities – will discuss the science of living longer at the Global Wellness Summit this October at the Technogym headquarters in Cesena, Italy.

Buettner is an explorer, National Geographic Fellow and best-selling author. He discovered what he termed “Blue Zones” – places where people regularly live and thrive to age 100.

Buettner is also the founder of the Blue Zone Projects, wellness communities across the US that design in key Blue Zone lessons learned and which have been successful in curbing obesity and smoking, and boosting overall quality of life and activity levels.

“Everyone in the wellness industry needs to understand the lessons from the Blue Zones, and Dan Buettner’s work is rapidly changing the ways the world thinks about health, wellness, happiness, prevention, aging and longevity,” said Susie Ellis, GWS chair and CEO.”This is real-world science that’s far more relatable than dry statistics. And how perfect that he will be with us in Italy, which is home to Sardinia, one of the five Blue Zone Regions where the whole Blue Zone story began.”

The first Blue Zone research (and the term itself) came from Dr Giovanni Pes, a physician/demographer who studied the southern Italian island of Sardinia, whose population boasted extraordinarily high life expectancies – including the highest concentration of male centenarians in the world.

Dr Pes, who will also present at the Summit, hypothesised that he would find a genetic variant supporting longevity there, but instead found that close family/social bonds, daily physical activity and a plant-based diet were key.

Buettner expanded the research, identifying four other regions beyond Sardinia where people statistically live the longest: Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and the Seventh-Day Adventist community in Loma Linda, California. His findings appeared in a National Geographic cover story, "The Secrets of a Long Life", which, like his article in the New York Times, are two of the most popular ever for the publications.

Buettner, with a team of medical researchers, anthropologists and demographers, spent eight years studying why Blue Zone populations lived so much longer and happier. He identified the Power 9, shared lifestyle behaviours that keep people thriving to 100: 1) moderate regular physical activity (not exercise, but natural movement) 2) life purpose 3) moderate caloric intake 4) plant-heavy diets 5) stress reduction 6) moderate alcohol 7) social engagement 8) strong family life, and 9) engagement in spirituality/religion.

Since 2010, Buettner has applied these nine lessons to new wellness community projects in the US called the Blue Zone Projects.

Blue Zone Project developers work with governments, employers, health insurance companies, schools, grocery stores, restaurants and engineers to help people naturally move more, eat wisely and connect with others. The results have been double-digit drops in obesity and smoking rates, along with impressive increases in activity levels. For example, the California Beach Cities Project saw a 14 per cent drop in obesity and a 30 per cent decrease in smoking rates across the entire community after just two years.

"The Global Wellness Summit is a major opportunity to refocus on the true causes of disease,” said Buettner. “For the first time in human history, people are not dying of overwork and hunger. In fact, over two-thirds of the world population will likely die from (largely avoidable) chronic disease brought on because we’ve engineered physical activity out of our lives and we consume too many of the wrong kind of calories. The key to improving world health – and living longer lives – is reshaping our environment to make the healthy choice the default for people everywhere.”



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12 Aug 2019
Beijing 2008 legacy has 'inspired millions' – will dovetail with 2022 Winter Games
The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games has resulted in a 'massive increase' in sports participation among the Chinese population.
09 Aug 2019
Own the Ride looks to inspire more people to take up cycling ahead of UCI world championships
A legacy campaign looks to utilise the forthcoming 2019 UCI Road World Championships and attract more people to take up cycling.
07 Aug 2019
MPs to press cricket chiefs over World Cup legacy plans
Members of Parliament will quiz cricket chiefs over their plans to capitalise on England's recent World Cup triumph.
05 Aug 2019
ukactive National Summit to position physical activity as critical to health policy
This year's ukactive National Summit will discuss plans to shape the future of public health, the workplace and the high street.
02 Aug 2019
FIFA to expand Women's World Cup to 32 teams
The success of the recent Women's World cup – and the resulting increase in interest in women's football – has led the world governing body FIFA to expand the number of teams taking part in the tournament from 24 to 32.
01 Aug 2019
ISPA to host Talent Symposium and Resource Partner Summit in 2020
The International SPA Association (ISPA) has announced the addition of the ISPA Talent Symposium and ISPA Resource Partner Summit, taking place 14-15 April 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton, Bacara in Santa Barbara, California.
01 Aug 2019
Kristen Bell to speak at Bold 2019
Digital wellness platform Mindbody has announced that actress and entrepreneur Kristen Bell will deliver a keynote speech at the 2019 edition of its Bold conference.
31 Jul 2019
FHT reveals details of 2019 conference
The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) has released details of this year's conference, which will take place on 29 November at The King's Fund in London's Cavendish Square, and will focus on research, best practice and positive body image.
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Locations worldwide
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ASTC 2019 Annual Conference
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