Longevity secrets in Singapore, the sixth city in the Blue Zone where people live the longest and happiest lives

Since the early 2000s, when Gianni Pace designated Sardinia, Italy as the inaugural Blue Zone city, Buettner has been searching for other cities with similar statistics and communities.

He immediately caught the attention of a man in his sixties Dan Buettner During their travels in search of another blue zone. Douglas FuSelf-made millionaire, founder of the food chain Sakai Sushi in Singapore In 1997, at the age of 28. Buettner describes Fu as a person Family oriented, motivated and energetic. He likes to do it Practice And participate in your community through Volunteer work. The most important thing is that you have fun while doing it.

He has a laugh every time laughing out loud“He sits down, opens his mouth, and pours out his soul,” Buettner, founder of Blue Zones LLC, National Geographic member and best-selling author, tells Fortune in one session. The interview is below. “You can’t help but be happy with him.”.

Buettner has traveled the world searching for the happiest, healthiest cities for two decades. During his research, he learns lessons from the populations and ecology of the five so-called blue zones, which produce the longest-lived societies.

One dimension A hiatus that lasted about 15 years, Buettner declared Fu’s home in Singapore the latest blue zone To join the classes. In many ways, Fo embodies the spirit of this newly recognized Blue Zone, which Buettner details in his new book, Blue Zones: Secrets to Living Longer.

“It’s an engineered blue zone, not an area that emerged organically like the other five zones,” Buettner says, noting how Singapore has become an urban center in recent decades.

With boundless enthusiasm and irrepressible energy, Fu embodied the ideal Singapore successBuettner writes in the introduction to his book on Singapore.

“Singapore has given me so much, and I’m not doing enough to give it back,” Buettner recalls Fu telling him.

Since the early 2000s, when Gianni Pace specific Sardinia, Italy, As the inaugural city of the Blue Zone, Buettner set out to search for other cities with similar statistics and communities. Since 2009, four more Blue Zones have joined our ranks: Loma Linda, California; Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; and Nicoya, Costa Rica.

Buettner calls Singapore “the country.” “Blue Zone 2.0, the next frontier of aging” In his new book he sheds light on much more than the enthusiasm of the residents themselves. It created health data, landscapes, and political incentives Multicultural island Indian, Malaysian and Chinese influence as a beacon of health and happiness.

Buettner describes Singapore as “Blue Zone 2.0, the next frontier of aging”

Buettner first became fascinated with Singapore in 2005, when he wrote a cover story for National Geographic About happiness, according to luck. since then, I met the population and checked the data, analysis Health metrics Al Jazeera. the Life expectancy has increased 20 years since 1960 And the The number of centenarians has doubled in the past decade“, Buettner writes in his book.

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“In addition to having Life satisfaction is very high“They were producing the tallest, healthiest population,” he says.

Unlike Other blue areaswhose standards Longevity is derived from years of history, culture and traditionSingapore’s stature comes from the changes that have been implemented over time.

“He is Designed blue area, “Instead of the center emerging organically like the other five,” Buettner says, noting how Singapore has become an urban center in recent decades. “It is clear that they achieved the result we wanted.”

With policies designed to maintain People who participate intergenerationally, walk and buy healthy foodSingapore represents healthy longevity.

Modern public transportation, taxes on individual car use, and city signage are policies that encourage people to walk and move around.

On his travels, Buettner observed what the footpaths were like in Singapore They protected the population from the sun, With “intentional greenery that made it aesthetically pleasing.”

Pedestrian-oriented signs cover the city making it Safe for traveling on foot. The island also applies Taxes on cars and gasolinewho invests money in A Solid metro system He adds that people live no more than 400 meters from the station. Besides the environmental benefits of public transportation, people Incorporate physical exercise into their routine Connectivity is by walking and using public transportation.

“Pedestrians are preferred over motorists when driving around the city,” Buettner says. “They take 10,000 or 20,000 steps a day without thinking about it.”

In Singapore, healthy foods are subsidized so that people can access them

Buettner was amazed by the food shopping scene in Singapore. Healthy foods were supported What encouraged people to buy? Whole grain foods With an abundance of nutrients rather than more processed foods (Buettner has yet to see this initiative implemented on a large scale around the world or in other blue zones).

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On a systematic scale, Singapore Government Reduce the amount of sugar in drinks sugary and Tags added From healthy foods to items with limited amounts of sugar, fat and sodium.

“People are consuming less sugar without thinking,” Buettner says.

Singaporean authorities recognize the need for socializing to stay healthy

The city plays an important role in creating… Sense of belonging to the community Of people. From the public. In a Harris poll conducted on behalf of Fortune earlier this year, it was closer to Support systems It was one of the main reasons why people were planning to move in the next two years.

“Loneliness is largely a function of the environment,” Buettner says. “If you live on a suburban cul-de-sac, and especially if you don’t like your neighbors, you’re less likely to meet someone by chance and have a conversation.”

the building Singapore is an antidote to loneliness itself. People live in skyscrapers, reflecting the diversity of the population. Residents can gather at local food vendors, markets and outdoor spaces.

“You share tables and interact “With the position user, interact with the person next to you,” Beutner says. “The chances of meeting an old friend or making a new one are exponentially greater.”

The Asian country urges exercise and investment in well-equipped hospitals (Getty)

Buettner describes a hospital in Singapore as a “Four Seasons resort.” he The hospital’s design reflects a luxury hotel Outdoor spaces, restaurants and classrooms bring the broader community together, he adds. With a purpose Improving the health of the elderly By preventing chronic diseases in their later years, the hospital Buettner visited had a program aimed at Sends nurses to the community. They help conduct free screenings and connect patients to healthy foods if necessary.

Officials also implemented a “National Step Challenge” Residents can redeem points and use them at local restaurants and stores after logging 10,000 steps per day.

From architecture that encourages gathering to tax cuts for those who keep elderly parents close by, Singapore is promoting intergenerational connectivity.

Singaporeans get Tax reduction if your elderly parents live with them or near themButner says. Encourages families to stay close to their children and grandchildren.

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“Aging parents are a great source of resilience Agricultural and culinary wisdom “We simply store them in nursing homes,” he says. “Here in Singapore, partly due to some smart policies to encourage it, it is being exploited every day.”

Another project called Kampung Admiralty Set in 2018 goals Connecting seniors to nature and people of all generations.

“The fact that we have these health-engineered populations gives us a source of lessons that American policymakers must pay attention to if we also want a healthy, disease-free population,” says Buettner, who points out how to achieve this. 70% of Singaporeans trust their government.

Kampung Admiralty includes a a covered park, performance centres, dining halls, apartments and a medical centre; Senior care and preschool were designed side by side, Buettner wrote.

Buettner has traveled the world searching for the happiest, healthiest cities for two decades. During his research, he learns lessons from the populations and ecology of the five so-called blue zones, which produce the longest-lived societies.

“[En Estados Unidos] We live in a toxic food environment that promotes a sedentary and solitary lifestyle. This won’t change until we start passing policies that make walking easier and healthy foods easier than fast food. And “We have to stop beating the dead horse of individual responsibility.”Butner says.

As Buettner searches for Blue Zone competitors, he admits he will find them It’s hard to find another “organic blue zone.” Blue Zone 2.0, on the other hand, is on.

“The big lesson when it comes to socializing, and moving more recklessly, is for our government to think about designing spaces that congregate people on foot,” he says.

This story originally appeared on Fortune.com

© 2023 Fortune Media IP Limited

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