Understand Blue Zones, their impact and how that can be translated into space.

 

Healthy space matters. 

It is no surprise the workplace demands are shifting and the wellness trends with it. Companies are now focused on employee wellness as a way to improve productivity, cut healthcare costs, and retain talent in a competitive workplace. 

But what if there was a way to create a healthy workspace that also helps your employees live longer? Surprise, it’s possible. 

Blue Zones are areas that prioritize healthy living, making it easier for residents to make healthy  choices and live long, meaningful lives. Companies who adopt elements of a Blue Zone into their space are not only expected to see reduction in illness and absenteeism but better quality work output as well.

To find out more about the elements that make up a Blue Zone, and creative ways you can transform these elements into the design of your workspace—keep reading!

What exactly is a Blue Zone?

A Blue Zone is essentially where people live to be 100 years or older.

Coined by author and National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner after doing research on where people live the longest and healthiest lives, he found out that only 20% of how long the average person lives is actually genetic and that there is a consistent pattern in how these people lived. 

Lucky for us, he was able to condense these patterns into the Power 9®. Which are 9 easy to follow lifestyle habits so that we can create Blue Zone’s in our own communities

The 9 key elements to a Blue Zone include: 

  • Move Naturally: Moving without thinking about it
  • Purpose: Knowing your “why”
  • Down Shift: Finding moments to decompress
  • 80% Rule: Stop eating when you’re 80% full
  • Plant Slant: Eating more plant-based meals
  • Wine at 5: A glass a day with friends or food
  • Right Tribe: Surrounding yourself with a healthy social circle
  • Loved Ones First: Centenarians put family first
  • Belong: Finding a faith-based community

Employers who have implemented the Power 9® into their workspace are already seeing positive results. It is not surprising that creating a reason to move, breathe and work with purpose has a positive impact on a work environment and inspires those around you to have productive,  fulfilling lives. 

Now how can you translate these elements into your own workspace?

Create a Blue Zone office

Now that you have a better understanding of Blue Zones and their impact, how can we promote employees to always choose the healthy option? The answer is space.

No matter your budget, there are ways to improve your office space to encourage Blue Zones. You can get creative with how you implement the 9 key elements into your workspace, but here are some ideas that we have:

  • Having kitchen space that is stocked with healthy snack options (80% Rule)
  • Building professionals also can encourage movement by adding staircase signage (Move Naturally)
  • Turning extra space into a mediation room for works to unwind and/or practice their religion  (Down Shift/Belong) 
  • Adding a vending machine with plant based snacks (Plant Slate)
  • Property teams can add a dedicated, comfortable room for nursing mothers returning to work after having a baby (Loved Ones First)
  • Creating functional, moveable space to host group bonding activities. Such as yoga classes and book clubs (Right Tribe)
  • Adding bike racks (Move Naturally)
  • Creating a community vegetable garden (Plant Slate)
  • An area to host motivational speakers each month (Purpose)

Space plays a huge role in how employees feel and perform. At Monarch, we always look at the whole environment. Wellness is here to stay, and translating those means is what makes us unique. We hope this article will inspire you to create a Blue Zone in your own workspace.

Cheers to living long, healthy lives! 

Brian + Ben
Monarch CRE


Want to find out where you truly belong and how to get there? Check out the Belonging Barometer.

​​