Blue Zones: Social Orders and Physical Health

There are certain regions of the planet (dubbed “Blue Zones”) that have a disproportionate number of people who live to be 100+ while enjoying good health and relatively high levels of fitness.  This brief TED talk outlines the 9 common diet and lifestyle features that these groups share.

The larger point is that health and fitness is not primarily a product of individual choices or lifestyles.  Rather, they require social orders that encourage and support life-long health, something that is largely absent from modern capitalist society.  Capitalism creates societies that actively hinder healthy lifestyles through such things as specialized jobs that require being sedentary for long periods of time, urban sprawl that necessitates driving rather than walking, and processed foods loaded with sugar and devoid of nutrients.  How will the new society break with these things?  How can we plan a new social order in which health and fitness is just something you do, rather than something you slog away at at over-priced gyms and or with the latest over-priced fitness gadget ever now and then?

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