What do the longest lived cultures in the world have in common?

Blue Zones is a project of Dan Buettner’s Quest Network, Inc that studies the regions of the world where people commonly live active lives past the age of 100 years. Scientists and demographers have classified these longevity hot-spots by their inhabitant’s uncanny ability to live longer, on average, than anyone else in the world. […]

Four Blue Zones have been discovered so far:

* Sardinia, Italy: One team of demographers found a hot spot of longevity in mountain villages where men reach the age of 100 years at an amazing rate.
* The islands of Okinawa, Japan: Another team examined a group that is among the longest lived on Earth.
* Loma Linda, California: Researchers studied a group of Seventh-day Adventists who rank among America’s longevity all-stars. Residents of these three places produce a high rate of centenarians, suffer a fraction of the diseases that commonly kill people in other parts of the developed world, and enjoy more healthy years of life. [1]
* Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: The Nicoya Peninsula was the subject of research on a Quest Network expedition which began on January 29th, 2007.[2]

The people inhabiting Blue Zones share common lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their longevity. Among the lifestyle characteristics shared among the Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma Linda Blue Zones are the following:

* Family – Family is put ahead of other concerns.
* No Smoking – Centenarians do not typically smoke.
* Plant-Based Diet – The majority of food consumed is derived from plants.
* Constant Moderate Physical Activity – Moderate physical activity is an inseparable part of life.
* Social Engagement – People of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities.
* Legumes – Legumes are commonly consumed.

Wikipedia: Blue Zones

(via Appropedia


  1. Some of the oldest living humans ever actually did smoke. I remember reading about one guy that picked up smoking at age 70 and then smoked for 30-40 years. Jeanne Calment, the oldest recorded human ever, “gave up smoking at the age of 117, only five years before her death.” (from Wikipedia) I’ve repeatedly heard France, Japan, and the Greek Islands as producing the longest living people. A lot of the Greeks claimed to drink olive oil.

  2. What do the longest lived cultures have in common? A really good growth medium, maybe?

    …sorry. Really intestesting article.

  3. Greaaaat, I get to live to 100 surrounded by farting family. Kill me now.

  4. how about sunshine and gardening? if you are in an urban center, i think you really have to add a meditative practice to detox and destress.

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