East Hawaii is one of three communities in the State selected as a Blue Zone demonstration area.  Carol Ignacio, Blue Zones Hawaii Community Program Manager for Hawaii island, explained this global initiative to create a healthier, happier life.

Blue Zones

Dan Buettner, a National Geographic fellow, researched and wrote a book about regions of the world with the highest concentrations of centenarians (people who live to be 100 years or older).  The five top areas, designated Blue Zones, are:  Loma Linda, California; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy; and Ikaria, Greece.  These areas share nine common traits, called the Power 9®, that contribute to longevity.  Carol gave us a life expectancy test (click here to download).  The test asked seven questions:  sleep 8 hours a day 5 days a week? eat 3 servings of vegetables every day? move 30 minutes a day? have 3 good friends who you can count on? belong to a faith-based community and show up at least 4 times a month? not smoked in the last 5 years? have the health and desire to reach age 90? Yes to two or more and your life expectancy is 67, 5 or more 79, all 7 is 88.  We all looked around and said our last good byes.
So what can we do?  We can work towards becoming a Blue Zones Community by participating in one or more of seven community sectors that influence how we live, work, or play.  Each of these sectors takes a pledge and acts on that pledge.  We can take a pledge in one of the sectors, as Individuals.  We can encourage the other sectors-- businesses (worksites), schools, restaurants, grocery stores, faith-based communities, and government (community policies on tobacco, food, and built environment).