Blue Zones Project

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Brought to Iowa through an innovative sponsorship by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, in collaboration with Healthways and Blue Zones, the Blue Zones Project® is a community well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to environment, policy, and social networks. The Blue Zones Project is the centerpiece of the Healthiest State Initiative, designed to make Iowa the healthiest state by 2016. This status is measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, the first-ever daily assessment of U.S. residents’ health and well-being.

In January 2013, Marion was named as a Blue Zones Project demonstration site, one of only 15 chosen in Iowa. Along with the other demonstration communities in Iowa, Marion received assistance from national experts to develop and implement a blueprint for making permanent environmental, social and policy changes that transition people into healthier behaviors that can lead to longer, happier lives.

In September 2015, Marion became the first community in the Corridor to be Blue Zones certified. Over the course of 18 months, Marion achieved this designation. Today, the journey continues. Learn how Marion is putting well-being on the map.


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