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Singapore - the world’s latest “blue zone”

Update: 29-03-2024 | 19:55:59

Singapore has become the world’s latest “blue zone” which is defined as a place where people live longer and healthier lives.

Illustrative image (Photo: Getty Images)

The term “blue zone” was coined by Dan Buettner. 

The five original blue zones are: Ikaria (Greece), Okinawa (Japan), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Sardinia (Italy) and Loma Linda (United States) but Singapore is on Buettner’s new list, dubbed “blue zone 2.0.”

While the original blue zones came about by natural circumstances, blue zones 2.0 are man-made.  

According to Buettner, Singapore has the highest health-adjusted life expectancy in the world. So whatever Singapore did, it worked at producing the longest, healthiest life on the planet.

He said the old blue zones are disappearing as mechanization is replacing physical activity and technology is disconnecting people from face-to-face interactions.”

Buettner specifically mentioned factors that promote Singaporean people’s health together with the country's policies.

For example, Singaporeans often walk because their mobility mainly relies on public transport and owning a car in this island nation is very costly.

Singapore also encourages children to live with or near parents and relatives through a policy offering incentives of housing costs, instead of sending the elderly to nursing homes. So the health of the elderly is also better as they receive thorough care.

Additionally, Singapore is at the forefront of popularising healthy foods. The country has created programmes that encourage food establishments to offer healthier options.

The country has promoted programmes to curb smoking such as imposing high tobacco taxes. Moreover, Singaporeans enjoy universal health care which means residents have access to quality medical care, including health services such as prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. The government has worked to create policies that subsidize health-care costs./.


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