At the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor North Luncheon on January 30, 2020, the speaker was Jeff Tritten from Washtenaw Blue Zones Project.
Jeff said, "A blue zone is characterized as an area of the world with a high concentration of centenarians, overall longevity, and little chronic diseases (lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes, and cardio vascular disease)."

National Geographic and the National Institute of Health set out to locate these areas with verifiable birth data. The official Blue Zones are:

  1. Sardinia, Italy
  2. Okanawa, Japan
  3. Loma Linda, California, United States
  4. Ikaria, Greece
  5. Nicoya, Coast Rica
Jeff Described the Power of 9, After completion of finding the ‘blue zones’, National Geographic Fellow – Mr. Dan Buettner, set out to create Blue Zones® Projects in other U.S. communities by implementing the Power 9 ® concepts which are as follows:
  1. Move naturally: De-convenience your home, take the stairs, park farther away from the entrance and grow gardens. Have an errand not far away…walk! Walking is one of the best activities for longevity.
  2. Know your purpose: Know why you wake up each day! This alone can add seven years to your life. Be able to articulate your values, passions, gifts and talents.
  3. Down shift: Stress leads to chronic inflammation which is associated with every major age-related disease. Find your de-stressor: meditate, nap, pray, or enjoy happy hour with friends.
  4. The 80% rule: Cut 20% of your calories with evidence based practices: eat a big breakfast, eat with your family, use 10 inch plates, and stop when you feel 80% full.
  5. Plant slant: Eat a primarily plant-based diet that’s heavy on the beans, nuts and green plants.
  6. Wine at 5: Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers. The trick is to drink 2 or maybe 3 drinks per day and not a drop more. This is also a wind down time with friends.
  7. Family first: Living in a loving and thriving family can add six years to your ticker! Invest time in your kids, nurture a monogamous relationship and keep aging parents near by.
  8. Belong: It doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish or some other religion that meets as a community. Research shows that attending faith-based services four times per month will add 4-14 years of life expectancy.
  9. Right tribe: Take stock in who your friends are and extend your social circle to include healthy-minded, supportive people.
Washtenaw Optimal Wellness (WOW) is working diligently to implement a Blue Zone Project. Blue Zone® Projects help citizens make the healthy choice, the easy choice™.
As a citizen of Washtenaw County, WOW encourage you to take small steps to better health and to get involved in our efforts. WOW will soon have purpose workshops, walking groups, nutrition education, and easy healthy eating options for you and your family.