Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


Employee health promotion--Iowa--Cedar Falls; Employee health promotion--Iowa--Waterloo;


There are 5 “Blue Zones” in the world, places where people live longer, healthier lives, often beyond 100 years of age, more often than people in other places. Dan Buettner, author of the book Blue Zones, has spent years researching these areas. He derived nine common practices among the people who inhabit the Blue Zones (National Geographic, 2012). He refers to these nine practices as the “Power 9” which include Move Naturally, Know your Purpose, Downshift, Wine at 5, Plant Slant, 80% Rule, Loved Ones First, Community, and Right Tribe. Together, he and his team have developed the “Blue Zones Project,” an initiative to bring the Power 9 into communities across America. The focus of the program is on schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and the community. In 2012, eleven communities in Iowa were chosen to participate in the “Iowa Blue Zones Project.” The focus of this study is on the implementation of the Blue Zones Project in four worksites in Cedar Falls and Waterloo, Iowa. This study compared Blue Zones Designated Worksites to Non-Blue Zones Designated Worksites to determine if, after one year of designation, employees were healthier in Blue Zones Designated Worksites. The study utilized wellness screening results consisting of a 23-panel blood draw and biometric measurements consisting of hip/waist measurements, body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, height/weight, and blood pressure. Data was collected prior to receiving the Blue Zones Designation and one year after becoming designated for the two worksites participating in the Blue Zones Project. Data was also collected for the two worksites not participating in the program in the same timeframe. The results suggest that there are no significant differences between worksites that are Blue Zones Designated and worksites that have standard worksite wellness programs. Differences at baseline in participant characteristics, among participating worksites, and similarities between Blue Zones Designated worksites and existing worksite health promotion programs are likely contributors to the conclusions drawn from this study.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services


Division of Health Promotion and Education

First Advisor

Susan R. Roberts-Dobie

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 65 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download