Hawaii Island communities earn Blue Zones certification

  • East Hawaii and North Hawaii have been named Blue Zones communities. An event was held Jan. 4 to celebrate this milestone. (Courtesy photo)

East Hawaii and North Hawaii have been named Certified Blue Zones Communities, joining only 18 other communities with this well-deserved designation across the country.

The community celebration in Waimea on Saturday, Jan. 4, drew a crowd with live music, free healthy food samples, and a congratulatory program acknowledging community members dedicated to well-being.

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Brought to Hawaii by HMSA, Blue Zones Project is a community-led initiative with a mission to enhance the well-being of Hawaii’s people by continually improving the environments where we live, work and play.

Through dedication of community leaders and support of the Blue Zones Project-Hawaii Island team, the efforts to make healthy choices easily available have proven successful and have resulted in this milestone.

Senior Vice President and Chief Community Engagement Officer Kathryn Matayoshi of HMSA commended the communities for reaching this goal.

“We’re so proud of our Hawaii Island community members,” she said. “Over the past five years, North and East Hawaii have had nearly 35,000 residents engaged with Blue Zones Project, to better their own health and the health of their family, friends, neighbors, and community. With that kind of passion, it’s no wonder Hawaii is one of the healthiest states in the nation.”

Mayor Harry Kim also congratulates the communities on their dedication.

“Our goal has always been to make Hawaii a nice place to live,” Kim said. “Not just the sense of place, but for us as people and families, for a healthy lifestyle. I consider this community certification to be a really great thing for all of us. Blue Zones Project represents the lifestyle we strive for on Hawaii Island. I congratulate the Blue Zones Project team and the residents of Hawaii Island for working toward this and participating in improving wellness in the community.”

The initiative is modeled after the best practices in the Blue Zones — regions in the world with the highest concentration of centenarians, or people who live to be 100 years or older.

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Blue Zones Project implements these best practices within communities and partners with work sites, schools, grocery stores, restaurants, civic organizations and policymakers to improve access to healthy resources.

To learn more about Blue Zones Project, contact the Blue Zones Project-Hawaii team at BlueZonesProjectHawaii@sharecare.com, visit bzphawaii.com, or follow us for well-being tips and tricks on Instagram and Facebook, @bzphawaii.

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