Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 1, 2014

224th Engineer Battalion earns Fairfield’s first Blue Zones Worksite designation

Sep 11, 2013
PHOTO SUBMITTED Capt. Randall Stanford shows the garden grown by the 224th Engineer Battalion for the Blue Zones Project. Some other changes made by the battalion were standing- and walking-meetings and a vending machine with healthy snack options.

The 224th Engineer Battalion of the Iowa Army National Guard has achieved Blue Zones Worksite designation — the first worksite to do so in Fairfield and the first National Guard outpost to have achieved the designation in Iowa.

The Fairfield Blue Zones Project team presented the designation to Capt. Randall Stanford Friday at the 224th’s headquarters in Fairfield.

The 224th Engr. Bn. fulfilled Blue Zones Worksite designation criteria as outlined at www.bluezonesproject.com, including the registration and engagement of more than 25 percent of their employees.

“The Blue Zones Project team is thrilled that the 224th Engr. Bn. has taken the initiative to become the first designated Blue Zones Worksite in Fairfield,” said Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy. “By completing the designation process, the 224th has demonstrated community leadership and its commitment to create a healthier work environment by supporting the well-being of the battalion.”

Brought to Iowa through an innovative sponsorship by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, in collaboration with Healthways and Blue Zones, Blue Zones Project is a community-by-community well- being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to environment, policy and social networks.

Fairfield is one of 16 Blue Zones Project demonstration sites in Iowa. Fairfield and the other demonstration communities are receiving assistance from experts to develop and implement a blueprint for making permanent environmental, social and policy changes that transition people into healthier behaviors that can lead to longer, happier lives.

For more information about Fairfield Blue Zones Project, visit the city of Fairfield website at http://cityoffairfieldiowa.com.

For more information about how to become a Blue Zones Worksite, contact the Blue Zones Project team at 424-7181 or visit www.bluezonesproject.com.

The Blue Zones Project is based on Blue Zones principles developed by Dan Buettner and is the centerpiece of the Healthiest State Initiative to make Iowa the healthiest state by 2016 as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the first-ever daily assessment of U.S. residents’ health and well-being. Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better lives by taking a systematic, environmental approach to well-being, which focuses on optimizing policy, social networks and the built environments where people spend their time.

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