Fort Worth Blue Zone Shines

Dan Buettner, Blue Zones Project founder, National Geographic fellow and author of The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World's Happiest People, states, “As the largest Blue Zones Project demonstration site in the country, Fort Worth is well on the road to better well-being.”

In his new book, Buettner turns the spotlight from health to happiness, revealing secrets of the world's happiest places and showcasing areas of the world where happiness is highest, and exploring how people can apply the lessons of true happiness in their own lives.

Buettner also highlights ways Blue Zones Project Fort Worth has made healthy choices easier and enhanced community well-being and happiness. Since kicking off in 2015, the Fort Worth project has helped implement healthier choices in restaurants, grocery stores and schools; offered purpose workshops for adults and young people; and identified improvements that can make neighborhoods more walkable and bike-friendly.

On any given day, Fort Worth 911 operators answer more than 150 calls, some of them life-threatening. To deal with the stress, one operator recruited coworkers to join a Blue Zones Project moai, a circle of friends that share interests and agree to take regular walks. Now, more than 30 employees participate and the effort has improved teamwork and enhanced employee morale. Buettner writes that satisfied workers take fewer sick days, are more productive and tend to treat customers and co-workers better.

He also found that one of the most effective things a community can do to enhance happiness is make it easier to volunteer. “Fort Worth is a great example of a city that is committed to the well-being and happiness of its citizens,” says Buettne. “As this movement continues to grow and people learn the secrets of the happiest places in the world, stories like these will become part of the fabric of the community and quality of life will continue to improve for the people who live, work and play there.”

Since efforts began in Fort Worth, more than 60,000 individuals have become involved in a Blue Zones Project. Additionally, more than 200 organizations, including worksites, restaurants, schools, grocery stores and faith-based organizations, have become Blue Zones Project Approved or participating organizations.

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