Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits
Societies around the world have become more and more intertwined, creating a rich combination of cultures and diversity. Each group utilizes numerous traditions and habits to sustain a healthy body and mind. This year, we are looking beyond our borders to focus on various parts of the world for inspiration. As inhabitants of this amazing world, we can learn a great deal by appreciating and adopting healthy habits from other countries.
Take a journey around the world with us to explore the habits others are implementing to promote healthy living. Continue reading to learn about Blue Zones, the inspiration behind our 2022 Wellness Around the World theme.
The life expectancy for the average American is 78.79 years old. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of centenarians (person one hundred or more years old) in 2020 was over 90,000. There are five pockets of the world where the population lives decades longer than the U.S. life expectancy of 78 years. These regions are called Blue Zones. They include Barbagia region of Sardinia; Ikaria, Greece; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Loma Linda, California; and Okinawa, Japan.
Residents of Blue Zone communities live in many different parts of the world but have specific commonalities that are believed to lead to longer, healthier lives. These commonalities are separated into four categories: connect, move, right outlook, and eat wisely.
- Put family first
- Have a sense of belonging
- Maintain a social circle
- Move naturally
- Have a purpose
- Be able to reduce stress
- Recognize hunger cues
- Maintain a largely plant-based diet
- Drink alcohol moderately and regularly
While genetics do greatly impact one’s ability to live a long life, environment and lifestyle also make a significant contribution. Through the upcoming year we will learn from our international neighbors and explore the habits they embrace to live happy and healthy lives. We will learn how to incorporate new ideas and practices into daily life to sustain a healthy body and mind. Our hope is this quest will help build appreciation and understanding for different cultures and societies.