UH Hilo named Blue Zones worksite

Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

A celebration was held today on campus to mark the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo designation as a Blue Zones Approved TM worksite. The Blue Zones concept of healthy living is modeled on the best practices of places where people not only live longer by reaching the age of 100 at an astonishing rate, but also enjoy a higher quality of life.

“UH Hilo now joins a number of businesses and organizations working together to transform Hilo into a Blue Zones community by adopting healthy best practices,” said Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai. “As an institution of higher learning, we are already well-versed in developing healthy minds. We can now look forward to taking that next step to promoting overall physical well-being.”

UH Hilo clinched its designation on March 2, 2018 by getting at least 25 percent of its employees to sign the Blue Zones Personal Pledge and implementing the following actions to promote well-being:

• Creation of a wellness committee, and an annual engagement plan outlining wellness program activities and communication strategy

• Formation of a UH Hilo webpage dedicated to Blue Zones Project information

• Designation of parking stalls with signage encouraging people to park further away for added steps

• Hosting Purpose Workshops to help people discover their gifts, talents and purpose

• Organized healthy cooking demonstrations

• Formed Walking Moai groups to connect with others and enjoy walking together

Blue Zones Project Organizational Lead Jana Ortiz-Misiaszek noted that worksite approval isn’t the finish line, but rather, the first of what she hopes will be multiple milestones.

“UH Hilo has been a wonderful partner in well-being and provides opportunities to make the healthy choice the easy choice on campus,” Ortiz-Misiaszek said. “We now look forward to seeing how they evolve.”

Hawai’i Medical Service Association brought the Blue Zones Project initiative to Hawai’i to create a healthier, happier Hawai’i. For more information about the Blue Zones Project, contact the East Hawai’i team at bluezonesprojectbigisland@sharecare.com or visit http://hawaii.bluezonesproject.com/.

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