Programs - Blue Zones

In August 2011, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad announced the Healthiest State Initiative, where he challenged all Iowans to rally together to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation by 2016 as measured by the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index®.

Iowa recently moved from 16th in 2011 to 10th in 2013, so we’re headed in the right direction. But there is still work to be done to reach number one.

Wellmark is proud to play a major role in the effort to reach No. 1 status through the Blue Zones Project.

Brought to Iowa through an innovative sponsorship by Wellmark in collaboration with Healthways and Blue Zones®, the Blue Zones Project is a community-by-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 based on Blue Zones® principles developed by author and researcher Dan Buettner. Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better lives by taking a systematic, environmental approach to well-being, which focuses on optimizing policy, social networks and the built environments where people spend their time.

Fifteen Iowa communities have already been selected to receive support from experts on their journeys to become healthier places to live, work, and play.

Join the movement!

Every Iowan has the opportunity to help make his or her community a happier, healthier place to live, work and play! Sign up now to support the Blue Zones Project and to learn more about the simple lifestyle changes you can make to provide lasting benefits to your physical health, emotional health, and social relationships.

Make your community a happier, healthier place to live, work and play!

Beyond individual commitment to the Blue Zones principles, communities across Iowa can work together to optimize their environments.

Although only selected communities can achieve official Blue Zones CommunityTM certification, every community can learn from Blue Zones principles using online tools and resources. Click here to see what it takes to become a Blue Zones Community, and see what you can bring to your community today.

Plus, any worksite anywhere in Iowa can become a designated Blue Zones WorksiteTM, recognition that demonstrates proactive well-being leadership in your community and industry. This designation can increase employee satisfaction and establish employers as a positive example for others across the state. Click here to register your workplace today.

Want to know more?

Visit for more tips, tools, and resources that will help you add years to your life expectancy and help you Live Longer, BetterTM.