What is the Gallup National Health & Well-being Index and what has it discovered about the Blue Zones Project?
The Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index provides an in-depth, nearly real-time view of Americans' well-being. Having an awareness of U.S. residents' well-being provides unmatched insights into people at the community, state, and national levels. The Well-Being Index measures Americans' perceptions of their lives and their daily experiences through five interrelated elements that make up well-being: sense of purpose, social relationships, financial security, relationship to community, and physical health.
Statement by Dan Witters, Research Director of the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index (WBI):
The Blue Zones Project paradigm demonstrates to us that you don’t have to be familiar or directly involved to see improvement in your well-being. Since 2010, the adult population of the Beach Cities, regardless of whether or not they have heard of the Blue Zones Project or involved themselves in its activities, have had significant improvement in many aspects of well-being and at levels that have often greatly exceeded changes in the same metrics at the state or national levels.
The Blue Zones Project can have a positive impact on people who may not necessarily be familiar with it. The key is that it surrounds people with healthy options — healthy menu items at local restaurants, policies that create infrastructures for active lifestyles like bath paths and walkways, and community programming to offer people opportunities to connect with others and find their life’s purpose.
Residents of the Beach Cities – Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach – have been impacted by the events of the last year. The WBI detected that large majorities of residents in the Beach Cities have experienced increased stress due to the pandemic, economic shutdowns and protests and civil unrest related to racial injustice.
However, they also experienced a significant increase in their well-being scores since 2015. Further, the WBI found that Beach Cities residents who engaged with the Blue Zones Project®, a community health initiative implemented by Beach Cities Health District, have greater well-being overall. This pattern has been observed in every Blue Zones Community® in which the analysis was conducted, including Fort Worth, Texas, Hawaii and Klamath Falls, Oregon.
*The Well-Being Index has been known as the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index since 2019.