‘Iolani is first US school to become Blue Zones certified worksite

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File – ‘Iolani School celebrates a milestone accomplishment as the first school in the United States to become a Blue Zones Project® certified worksite, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 6, 2021. (‘Iolani School photo)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — ‘Iolani School celebrated becoming the first school in the U.S. to achieve Blue Zones Project® certified worksite status on Tuesday, April 6. Blue Zones creates health and wellness programs that focus on changing a community’s environment and encourages participants to make healthy choices.

According to officials at ‘Iolani, achieving Blue Zones certified worksite status means taking a systemic approach to improving well-being through policy, social networks, building design and workplace environment.

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The head of school at ‘Iolani said, the worksite certification reflects how physical and mental wellness are prioritized at ‘Iolani School.

“We have always prioritized the importance of being a community that encourages wellness in the workplace, both physically and mentally. Our Blue Zones Project worksite certification is a reflection of how we support each other in this effort. We believe that creating an environment and providing programming to enable our faculty and staff to thrive in these areas are equally important as the environment we create for our students.”

Dr. Timothy Cottrell, ‘Iolani head of school

‘Iolani is also an approved Blue Zones school, which recognizes its dedication and commitment to supporting the well-being of students. ‘Iolani implanted the following health and well-being programs to meet certified worksite standards:

  • Healthier choices on their lunch menu, in the faculty lounge, and in vending machines throughout campus.
  • A lunch cart that offers healthier options, like plant-based soups and fresh produce.
  • Professional development days, which include well-being offerings.
  • Increased access to and encouragement of volunteer opportunities in the community.
  • Complimentary well-being programs, including power core boot camp, walking groups, morning meditation, a prayer hui, Pilates, Zumba, weight training, and more. 

The Blue Zones Project initiative is made possible through Sharecare and HMSA. ‘Iolani School, Blue Zones Project, and HMS celebrated the accomplishment Tuesday with HMSA-sponsored gift bags, healthy snacks and a raffle to win a basket of plants and produce from the campus gardens at ‘Iolani.

Click here to learn more about how to achieve Blue Zones Project certified worksite status.

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