Proven Ways to Get 12 More Years of Life: Meet Tony Buettner of the Blue Zones Community Health Project

09 Nov 2015 by Jason's Connection
Blue Zones–Where people live the longest

Recently Jason’s Connection’s Founder, Jason Harris, spoke with Tony Buettner, Vice President of Product and Business Development for Blue Zones, an organization that helps people live longer, better lives.

“Research shows here in America, that we should be living, on average, to a healthy age 90…. The reality is, on average…we’re living to 78, we’re leaving 12 good years on the table. What we found [about people] in the Blue Zones…they are living long, good lives. What we’re trying to bring forth are the learnings from those populations, and evidence-based ways where people can choose and implement strategies to…get some of those good years back”

Interview With Tony Buettner

BLUE ZONES started in 2004, when Dan Buettner teamed up with National Geographic and the world’s  [logo] best longevity researchers to identify pockets around the world where people live measurably longer better. In these “Blue Zones” they found that people reach age 100 at rates 10 times greater than in the United States. After identifying 5 of the world’s Blue Zones, Dan and National Geographic took teams of scientists to each location to identify lifestyle characteristics that might explain longevity. They found that the lifestyles of all Blue Zones residents shared nine specific characteristics. We call these characteristics the Power 9®. Dan’s subsequent book The Blue Zones hit the New York Times best-seller list and took Dan everywhere from Oprah to TED to Bill Clinton’s Health Matters Initiative. The success prompted a new challenge: could we improve health and longevity in the US? In 2009 they partnered with AARP and the United Health Foundation to apply the Power 9 principles to Albert Lea, MN. It worked: after just one year, participants added an estimated 2.9 years to their average lifespan while healthcare claims for city worker dropped 49%. Harvard’s Walter Willett called the results “stunning.” They are now building Blue Zones in cities and businesses across the country. Their mission – to help people live longer, better lives – is spreading.

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Tony Buettner

Tony Buettner is a National Speaker and Business Development at Blue Zones. One of Tony’s primary tasks is that of Project Manager for Blue Zones Projects; His work encompassing strategic planning, operations, and the facilitation of successful implementation of all Blue Zones Community projects. Tony brings direct knowledge and insight of the Blue Zones expeditions, research, and insights into those populations to help them live longer, better. His experience gained during his participation on expeditions with Dan Buettner, his brother, and his over 30 years of world travel, bring pertinent experience in the understanding of health and wellness as it relates to populations and cultures. Tony’s day-to-day responsibilities at Blue Zones offer deep insight into the research that forms the foundation for the product development and implementation of the methodology behind the Blue Zones Projects. This interaction brings deep-seated understanding to how Blue Zones interfaces in the six sectors of communities that include policy, worksites, restaurants, grocery stores, schools, and with individual engagement. His background in quality management systems complement the rigor and thoughtfulness in developing a scalable product model as well as one that can be sustained in the Blue Zone Project communities.