Blue Zones: 5 world spots holding secret keys to longer life

Özge Sengelen

The “blue zones” are five regions across the world where people have found common living conditions and philosophies of daily life, which in turn have made the locals of these zones live long healthy lives, so let’s take a look at what essential secrets they hold

People have always wondered about the secrets of a long and healthy life. They kept searching for the formula to discover the joy of life, for curiosity, advancement of science, or for other reasons. Dan Buettner, a member of National Geographic and a New York Times columnist, who was on some quest on his own, discovered not the secrets of the longevity of life but also spotted five regions called “blue zones” where people in the world live the longest and are the healthiest.

In fact, by exploring these places and closely studying the living conditions of the people here, he may have deciphered the secret for a long and healthy life.

Today, I want to take you to different parts of the world – to these “blue zones.” Although these regions are in other parts of the world, they have an essential common feature. Life expectancy in these regions is considerably higher than the world average.

As a side note, Buettner and his team called these areas the “blue zones” because they had marked these regions in blue on the map while conducting their research.


Icaria, located in the middle of the Aegean Sea, is an island in Greece. The island, which has the world’s lowest middle-aged death rates, is also said to have meager dementia rates.

The town of Castelsardo, in Sardinia, Sassari, Italy. (Shutterstock Photo)
The town of Castelsardo, in Sardinia, Sassari, Italy. (Shutterstock Photo)

Sardinia Island, one of the blue zone regions, is an island connected to Italy. The part of the island, Barbagia in Sardinia is famous as the region where the oldest men reside.


Our next stop is Okinawa in Japan. The world’s longest-living women are found in this island and at the same time, the region has the longest life expectancy in the world. The number of people reaching the age of 100 years is also quite high on this island.

Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula, which has an equatorial climate, is one of the blue zone regions in Costa Rica. Therefore, the peninsula, the region of the second oldest men in the world, leads a very active life even in advanced age.

Loma Linda Medical Center, California, U.S. (Shutterstock Photo)
The forests and coastline of Nicoya, Costa Rica. (Shutterstock Photo)
Loma Linda

California’s Loma Linda has residents that live at least 10 years longer than other Americans across the United States. The small town is also home to the Christian community known as Seventh-day Adventists. This community, which has a vegetarian diet and very close ties to each other, attributes the secrets of long life to these factors and to living with a purpose.

Life in the blue zone

Of course, the team examined the lifestyles of people living in these regions for about five years. You can probably guess that the everyday lifestyles of people here include a healthy and natural diet, a stress-free life, consumption of unprocessed food, and exercise.

First of all, it is said that people living in these regions live their lives with a purpose. Natives of Okinawa, one of the blue zone areas, call it “Ikigai.” This means starting the day with a goal, knowing why you wake up. According to a study, people who live for a purpose live longer.

Also, according to the research, people in these regions leave their dinner tables before they are fully stuffed. Blue zone people – who end the meals 80% complete and 20% hungry – eat a little toward the evening in the afternoon and do not eat at other times.

The port of Agios Kirykos, in Icaria, Greece. (Shutterstock Photo)
The port of Agios Kirykos, in Icaria, Greece. (Shutterstock Photo)

The concept of exercise and sports among blue zone people is also quite different. Instead of going to the gyms and doing sports or especially going jogging and walking, they prefer a continuous and naturally active life during the day, throughout daily life.

As everyone knows, stress can cause many diseases. Blue zone people strive to distance themselves from the stress that disrupts our quality of life. It is said that some take the stress away from themselves by praying, some by sleeping, and some by having fun.

Blue zone people live their lives based on faith. Therefore, joining religious communities and performing faith-based services is part of their lives. This is also said to prolong the human lifespan.

I think that almost everyone would guess and agree that these and many more common lifestyle choices would extend the life span of anyone.

So, those who wish can pursue a long and healthy life can start integrating these small tips and lifestyle choices which are not very difficult to practice.

I wish success to everyone in pursuing a long and healthy life.