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AARP AARP States Arizona Health & Wellbeing

Promoting ‘Blue Zones’ for Healthier Living, Longevity


Scottsdale officials and regional health care provider HonorHealth are teaming up to determine whether the city can be designated as a “blue zones community,” an area where people tend to live longer, healthier lives.


The concept of blue zones arose out of work by National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner and other researchers who identified five original longevity hot spots: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California. Now Buettner’s company, Blue Zones, works to make cities across the U.S. healthier places. 

The life expectancy for residents in one Scottsdale zip code (85258) is 85, six years higher than the state average, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study. 

Blue Zones is also working with Equality Health Foundation, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Arizona and Valley of the Sun United Way to improve wellness in low-income neighborhoods on Phoenix’s south side. Although residents there are just a 25-minute drive from Scottsdale, life expectancy is as low as 71.

“We want to help people to be as healthy and active for as long as possible,” says Dana Kennedy, AARP Arizona state director. 

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—James E. Garcia

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