LIFE IS SHORT. Together, we’re making it LONGER.
Blue Zones Project is a community-wide, evidence-based approach to improve health and well-being in making healthier choices easier for everyone. Airdrie is on its way to becoming the first Blue Zones Community® in Canada, to achieve its goal of becoming the healthiest community in Canada. The Airdrie Blue Zones Project will work with the community to create an even better place to live, learn, work, play and worship using the Power 9 principals learned from the longest lived populations in the world. When the entire community participates – from worksites and schools to our restaurants and grocery stores – small changes contribute to huge benefits for us all: lowered healthcare costs, improved productivity and ultimately, a higher quality of life. We look forward to working together to help make healthier choices easier for everyone in Airdrie.
The Blue Zones Project is based upon principals learned from the five original Blue Zones discovered by National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner. Live like a centenarian by following these the nine simple, life-changing principles at the core of Blue Zones Project. By using the Power 9 to improve where we live, work, learn, and play, we make it easier to get up and move, eat healthy, make new friends, find a reason for being – and live longer, better.
Discover ways to incorporate the Power 9 into your life even when we are practicing physical distancing.
Over the past three years, Abrio Health worked with the City of Airdrie, health services stakeholders, and the community at large to conduct a needs assessment to determine what areas of focus local residents want and need in an effort to become Canada’s healthiest community. Out of that assessment came a collective understanding that people wanted to be healthier but didn’t necessarily know how, or more to the point, needed support.
Abrio Health and the City conducted significant international best practices research, and chose to work with Blue Zones Project (BZP) as it was the one single program that engages and implements health programming in multiple sectors concurrently (workplace, schools, food sources, built environment, etc). It also utilizes a proven, research-informed measurement system to understand changes in individual and population health and correlates these changes against corresponding changes in medical and acute care usage and costs.
Abrio Health, in coordination with the City of Airdrie and other key health and healthcare system stakeholders such as Alberta Blue Cross and Alberta Health Services, is committed to Airdrie's goal of becoming the healthiest City in Canda.
The Airdrie Blue Zones team is currently in the Discovery phase of the project and working to build a "Blue Print" for the project by engaging key stakeholders and community members in policy and discovery meetings. If you are a passionate, Airdrie resident and would like to join our journey from the start our team would love to hear from you. Follow us on Facebook or email us.
Photo by: Cooper’s Crossing
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Many of us spend the majority of our day at work – so having healthy choices at our workplace is key. Blue Zones Project offers solutions for worksites to inspire employees to be happier and more productive at work and at home. A healthier employee costs less, too. When workers feel better and more connected to their colleagues, they miss less work, make greater contributions, and have lower healthcare costs.
Blue Zones Project® makes it easy for schools to teach students how to lead longer, happier lives. Schools are already an essential part of helping kids make smart choices about staying healthy. By encouraging better eating habits, implementing tobacco-free policies, and increasing physical activity, schools can use Blue Zones Project to help students and parents form healthy habits for life.
Our community has plenty of choices when it comes to eating out. And Blue Zones Project can help restaurants offer even more healthy choices to keep and attract more customers. By surrounding ourselves with like-minded people who are focused on healthier living, we can move from dieting fads to meaningful lifestyle changes that drive more traffic to the restaurants that are offering healthier menu options.
From farmers' markets to grocery stores, healthier food options are increasingly needed in our community. Blue Zones Project® can help local grocers educate their customers on improving their family's nutrition and provide easier access to healthful and tasty foods. If you're a local grocer, Blue Zones Project can help increase your traffic by making the healthy choice the easy choice.
Community policy has a big impact on healthy choices. Sidewalks, bike lanes, community gardens, mobile food markets, farmers' markets, and other community infrastructures affect our ability to move naturally, connect socially, and access healthy food. When we make permanent changes to our surroundings, we can change behaviors and help our whole community lead healthier, happier, and longer lives.
From moving naturally more often to ﬁnding individual purpose in our lives, making small changes in daily routines can lead to living happier and healthier lives.
Prior to joining Blue Zones Project in September 2019, Kent spent 16 years as the economic development manager for the City of Airdrie where he and his team were recognized for their leading-edge programs and services. Kent has served as president and director on a number of boards at the provincial, national and international levels and assisted many communities throughout western Canada in creating economic development programs.
As part of his passion to serve others, Kent has been very involved as the President of the Airdrie Food Bank (2015-2019), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Habitat for Humanity International. Kent is proud to have been part of a team of economic development professionals who developed and implemented Canada’s first “Economic Disaster Recovery Program” during the Southern Alberta floods in 2013 and the Fort McMurray fires in 2016.
Having grown up in small town Alberta, Kent's values align with the Blue Zones Power 9 principles like moving naturally, having the right outlook, eating wisely (except brussel sprouts) and having a healthy social network.
Power 9: Moving Naturally
Michelle is an avid community volunteer, innovator and ambassador who has called Airdrie home for 12 years. Over the past 15 years, Michelle has built, implemented and managed corporate programs across North American in Alberta’s energy, private and non for profit sectors. She comes to the Blue Zones Project with a wide range of expertise in community engagement as well as program, project and change management and is known for her ability to bridge communications between groups, formulate effective partnerships, raise organizational capacity, increase program recognition and achieve sustainable programs. Outside of "work," Michelle loves to move naturally and help others find balance and health as a yoga instructor and is a proud volunteer with Creative Airdrie, ARTember Festival (2013-2015) and Airdrie 2020 Winter Games (2018 - present).
Power 9: Downshift
Prior to her role at Blue Zones Project, Kendra was the Public Health Dietitian with Alberta Health Services working in Airdrie, Didsbury, and surrounding communities. Kendra has experience in a variety of practice areas, including nutrition technology, mobile app design, metabolic research, community development, chronic disease prevention and management, as well as facilitation and education. She has also earned her BSc in Biochemistry, and is a passionate advocate for establishing health equity, sustainable development, and global health issues. Kendra is also a group fitness instructor, and a lover of travel, books and adventure.
Power 9: Purpose
Jenelle is a communication and engagement professional who has worked in the government, not for profit and corporate sector for close to two decades helping her clients and employers advocate for change and build stronger communities. Her most recent role was working with the City of Airdrie promoting community services such as community development, social planning, Genesis Place recreation centre, Bert Church LIVE Theatre and Airdrie Transit. As a collaborator, connector and coach, Jenelle is passionate about helping people find their purpose and is excited about the opportunity to reshape the health story in Airdrie.
Power 9: Right Outlook
Events, public engagement, marketing and keeping everything organized are Christie Jensen's skills but she is most passionate about healthy living. Previously, she has worked for non-profit and municipal organizations and enjoys volunteering in the community. She has spent the last seven years teaching a variety of fitness classes to children and adults. Christie earned her degree in marketing from the University of Lethbridge, grew up on a farm near Vulcan, Alberta and now resides west of Airdrie with her husband and two young boys. Watch for Christie at the local arena, where she spends a lot of her time as a busy hockey mom. Christie is thrilled to be part of a community well-being initiative that is close to her heart as she is a scratch cook, gardener and lover of all healthy foods, even brussel sprouts.
Power 9: Right Tribe