Blue Zones Project – North Hawaii

Lift your students. Strengthen your schools and community.

Imagine a great day of learning in your school. Students and teachers are engaged, active and excited about what they’re doing. They refuel in healthy ways to keep their energy high. Imagine this great day happening every day. There’s a movement to make it easier in your community.

Blue Zones Project by Healthways is now at work in our community, linking people, places and policy to make healthy choices easy choices. You may have heard about the original Blue Zones — places where people live longer, with a higher quality of life and lower rates of disease. Blue Zones Project leverages findings about these places and other well-being research to create new Blue Zones Communities across the U.S.

Schools are a vital part of Blue Zones Communities. So are worksites, grocery stores, restaurants, faith-based organizations, civic groups and city governments. Your school can unlock powerful benefits for your students, teachers and community by taking the Blue Zones Project School Pledge.

Benefits for schools: Student performance and well-being

Simple changes in the school environment can boost student health, attendance, focus and performance. Activity breaks can improve on-task behavior in the classroom. Beverage policies can cut the consumption of excess calories that lead to children being overweight. Movement opportunities in and out of P.E. class can increase fitness.

Here’s a list of some simple, yet effective best practices to optimize the school environment so that students are encouraged to eat better, move more, reduce sedentary screen time, increase healthy social interactions and increase mindfulness:

• Install a salad or fruit-and-vegetable bar in the cafeteria

• Plant and maintain a school garden

• Create and implement a farm to school program

• Implement a Walking School Bus and/or bus-to-walk program

• Require 150 minutes per week (elementary schools) and 225 minutes per week (middle and high schools) of physical activity for all students

• Integrate physical activity into daily lesson plans outside of physical education class

• Implement a program to teach mindfulness skills to students

• Offer a purpose workshop for juniors or seniors in high school

Put Blue Zones Project to work at your school

The healthier we make Hawaii schools, the healthier our keiki will be. Blue Zones Project makes it easy for schools to teach students how to lead longer, happier lives.

Here in North Hawaii, Parker School and Hawaii Preparatory Academy have already achieved Blue Zones Project ApprovedTM status. You, too, can join the movement. Contact me at CarolR.Ignacio@healthways.com or 202-4958 to get started with the Blue Zones Project School Pledge.

Info: Go to info.bluezonesproject.com/hawaii

Blue Zones Project® – North Hawaii involves dozens of community volunteers from Waimea, Waikoloa, North Kohala, Kawaihae, Puako and Hamakua who are dedicated to helping us all “Live Longer, Better.” To join, go to hawaii.bluezonesproject.com to learn more. North Hawaii is one of only eight communities in the state selected as a Blue Zones Project demonstration site. Blue Zones Project by Healthways is brought to Hawaii by HMSA.

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