The Shelter is newest Blue Zones Project worksite

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NAPLES, Fla. – Sept. 6, 2016 – The Shelter for Abused Women & Children in Naples is taking a page from its own self-care playbook by becoming a Blue Zones Project Approved™ Worksite. The designation allows the 26-year old organization to demonstrate its commitment to community well-being, by helping its own employees and residents live longer, better lives. 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.

“As role models to the community we serve, we want to practice self-care that furthers the well-being of our employees and enhances The Shelter’s ability to promote health among the individuals and families we serve,” said Linda Oberhaus, executive director. “Blue Zones Project has helped us do that by offering evidence-based practices that we could incorporate into our daily work lives.”

The Blue Zones Project designation is a natural fit with The Shelter’s mission to “prevent, protect and prevail” over domestic violence, Oberhaus said.

“The well-being of our community will increase when domestic violence is eradicated,” Oberhaus said. “When our Shelter employees feel good and have increased health and well-being, they are better equipped to provide the life-transforming services needed to assist survivors with increasing their own well-being.”

To become an approved worksite, The Shelter created a Blue Zones Project Committee to work toward increasing the well-being of the staff. After implementing Blue Zones Project practices, The Shelter became a smoke-free campus and many employees began wearing Fitbits to track their daily steps. By using the Fitbits, employees sought to improve their overall health, but in addition they stimulated social connectedness via friendly competitions to see who achieved the most steps each day and by walking together.

Brought to Southwest Florida by NCH Healthcare System, in collaboration with Healthways®, Inc. and Blue Zones®, LLC, Blue Zones Project is a vital part of Southwest Florida’s well-being improvement initiative that encourages changes to the community that lead to healthier options. For more information about Blue Zones Project – Southwest Florida, call 239-624-2312 or visit

About Blues Zones Project

Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks. Established in 2010, Blue Zones Project is inspired by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five regions of the world—or Blue Zones—with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older. Blue Zones Project incorporates Buettner’s findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs that will move a community toward optimal health and well-being. Currently, 27 communities in seven states have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 1.7 million Americans. The movement includes three beach cities in California, 15 cities in Iowa, the city of Fort Worth, and communities in Hawaii, Southwest Florida, and Oregon. For more information, visit