Enhancing Workplace Wellness

By Michael A. Gold
President and Chief Executive Officer of HMSA

Imagine your community with safe places to walk and bike. Your children eat more nutritious lunches in school, and people are healthier and more engaged in their well-being.


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As a Blue Zones Employer, HMSA encourages employees to engage in healthy lifestyles PHOTOS COURTESY HMSA

These are some key concepts behind Blue Zones Project, a national program that encourages communities and individuals to make positive changes to improve their health and well-being. The project looked at why people in places such as Okinawa, Sardinia and Loma Linda, Calif., live full, healthy lives into their 90s and even past 100.

What’s their secret to longevity and happiness?

They eat a mostly plant-based diet, stay physically active, have close family ties and friendships, and live with ikigai — the Okinawan word for “a sense of purpose.”

We met with community leaders throughout October during public education visits on Oahu, Hawaii island and Maui to talk about how Blue Zones Project can transform Hawaii into a better place to live, work and play. Some changes may include healthier foods in restaurants and grocery stores, less junk food in vending machines and more community gardens.

HMSA is enhancing our workplace wellness programs to become a Blue Zones Employer. We encourage employees to take the stairs instead of the elevator, join walking and healthy eating moais (groups) with co-workers, and volunteer in communities. We created no-smoke zones at HMSA buildings and started a weekly farmers market outside HMSA Center at Honolulu Fridays.

We’re excited to see how the Blue Zones Project can help people in Hawaii live longer, healthier and happier.

Learn more at hawaii.blue-zonesproject.com or email bluezonesprojecthawaii@healthways.com.

Blue Zones Project and Blue Zones Employer are trademarks of Blue Zones LLC. All rights reserved.