The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

Slow Living, Long Living

Key to a long lifespan chart from Netflix.

Americans are currently living in one of the peaks of innovation. New technologies, medical procedures, foods and more are coming to fruition almost daily. However, as we invent more there is a pattern of noticing less. Americans have grown used to consuming unhealthy foods containing harmful chemicals and microplastics but because that food is convenient and cheap there are not many options otherwise.

Convenience is key in America and no one can definitively say they fully understand the long-term effects of what they are using because it has not been around long term. This thought process, while efficient, is likely doing more harm than good. 

Areas with increased lifetime longevity are called “blue zones” and most Americans are not living in one. “Blue zones” do not prioritize convenience, they prioritize connections, healthy lifestyles and living easy. Some “blue zones” include Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece and Loma Linda, California. Those living in “blue zones” are increasing their lifespans without even aiming to do so because their lifestyles are so healthy.

Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer, has been studying “blue zones” for over 20 years. In an interview with ABC News Buettner made no crazy claims regarding their lifespans, but instead explained, “[t]hey simply live in places where every time they go to work and occasions they’ll walk. They have gardens out back. They don’t use all the mechanical conveniences that have engineered physical activity out of our lives. They keep their metabolisms higher all day long because they’re nudged into movement. And that seems to be the big idea.”

Those who live in “blue zones” do not live for the sake of convenience but instead live for the sake of life. There is less consumption and more usage of their environment to make their food, to create “natural” gyms and overall provide the resources they need.

Buettner described, “[y]ou know, in America, we tend to pursue health and longevity. We think, “OK, I want to live longer. I want to be healthier. I’m going to find this diet. I’m going to find this supplement regimen. I’m going to get on this biohack, and I’m going to get healthier. In blue zones, they don’t do any of that.”

Buettner’s documentary format television show titled “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones”

 can be viewed on Netflix and provides more insight into how the daily lives of people living in blue zones often operate. They are more often than not just living without putting any thought into their actions they just live in a place where slow consumerism and health are normalized not ostracized, unlike America.

“Longevity ensues. They are simply a product of their environment,” stated Buettner.

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Addy Happ, Newspaper Editor

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