The Blue Zone Project®: Nothing but blue skies for Naples and The Arlington
Naples, Florida is on or near the top of a lot of lists: Best Places to Live, Best Places to Retire. Safest Place to Live. Fastest-Growing City. Sunniest Places on Earth. And Best Beaches. These are just some of the accolades our beautiful city has earned.
And now, there’s another list-topper: Blue Zones Community. As of August 22, 2022, Southwest Florida is a certified Blue Zones Community® – one of the few in the U.S. to achieve this milestone. And Naples has been part of this important health initiative since 2015.
A “Blue Zone” is a term introduced first by Blue Zones Project founder and National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner. He discovered five areas across the world where a large number of people lived significantly longer lives and identified the productive lifestyle habits they shared. Begun in 2009, the Blue Zones Project is dedicated to helping communities across the world become “healthier, happier and more productive.”
Over 800 business and organizations across Southwest Florida have participated in the Blue Zone Project. These include supermarkets, restaurants, schools, park systems, faith-based organizations, employee worksites, homeowners’ associations and governments.
By committing to best practices for making healthier choices easier, participants have helped to reduce major health risks compared to Florida as a whole. These include 36% lower tobacco use, 28% lower in poor nutrition; 17% lower stress, 23% lower obesity, and 9% lower in lack of exercise.
The Arlington is extremely proud to have done its part. We’re the first organization in Southwest Florida to be triple Blue Zones Project Approved®: as a Worksite, a Homeowner’s Association and a Faith-Based Organization.
Of course, wellness programming – from healthy eating and customized fitness regimens to life-enriching daily activities – has always been an essential part of our lifestyle since we opened in 2015. And that’s one reason why we were eager to join in the Blue Zone Project.
Here’s just one example: We took part in a Blue Zones Project “Track Your Trek” challenge, which is designed to encourage people to get on their feet and get moving. We enrolled more than 70 enthusiastic residents and employees who walked a total of over 25 million steps over four months. In case you don’t have a calculator handy, that adds up to a remarkable 12,813 miles. One resident was happy to report losing 13 pounds!
Personal choice is key to Blue Zone Project success. As the Blue Zone Project – Southwest Florida says, “We don’t mandate that you adopt certain health practices. We invite you to make small changes which will lead to big health benefits in the long run.” At The Arlington, we heartedly agree.
Learn more about the Blue Zones Project – Southwest Florida and how you can participate by visiting southwestflorida.bluezonesproject.com.