Muscatine Blue Zones Milestone

March  25, 2014

      The effort to make Muscatine a healthier place to live has reached an important milestone. Fourteen months after the city became a Blue Zones community, 20 percent of its residents have joined the program.    

      Spokesman Andrew Anderson says Muscatine is one of fifteen Blue Zones sites in Iowa, where residents are pledging to live healthier. The pledge includes getting exercise, riding a bike, planting a garden, and even getting a pet. 

      "The personal pledge is a series of suggestions for how to make healthier choices easier to make. We all want to make healthy choices, but sometimes we run out of will power or can't find them; so if we can set up our surroundings to make healthy choices easier, then we follow through and actually do them."

      Anderson says the 20 percent milestone means that 3,600 residents of Muscatine have taken the pledge. 

      "The twenty percent goal for individual residents is based off a tipping point theory, which says that if a certain number of people in a population do something, then it'll spread and affect the whole population." 

      The Blue Zones project began in Muscatine in January of last year and the program first signed up grocery stores, then work sites. Still in the works are signing up local restaurants and schools.

      The Blue Zones project is based on research of places in the world where people live longest and are most healthy, called Blue Zones.