Poster Title

It’s Good to Be Blue: A Nursing Study Abroad Exploration of the Sardinian Blue Zone

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Institution

Murray State University

KY House District #

5

KY Senate District #

1

Department

Nursing

Abstract

Blue Zones are areas of the world where, according to studies performed by National Geographic and other experts, people live measurably longer, happier lives with lower rates of chronic disease and a higher quality of life than they do in the United States. There are five identified Blue Zones, with nine common characteristics among these five locations, known as the Power 9 which are related to diet, exercise, relationships, and spirituality. Sardinia, Italy, the first identified Blue Zone, has the greatest concentration of male centenarians in the world.

A nursing professor, along with 17 nursing students, traveled to Sardinia, Italy in May, 2017 to explore the culture, lifestyles, and ultimately the Power 9 at work. In Sardinia, students visited a Blue Zone and interviewed centenarians in their homes, visited local markets, met with longevity experts, visited a winery and olive oil mill, participated in a cooking class, and experienced typical Sardinian celebrations, meals, and social activities. Students and the faculty member analyzed the collected data using a narrative thematic analysis to determine connections to the Power 9 and overall lifestyle characteristics aiding in longevity.

The overall aim of this visit was to research the Blue Zone and draw conclusions about the Power 9 characteristics by interviewing, observing, and analyzing. Students immersed themselves in Sardinian culture and brought back information to the local university community and community as a whole. The plan is to implement Blue Zone ideals locally and potentially to implement the Blue Zone Project with the help of the Blue Zone experts.

Visiting the Blue Zone in Sardinia was extremely valuable for nursing students in bringing health promotion ideals back to the community and to patients in a variety of settings. Also, this was an important introduction to qualitative research techniques such as interviewing and qualitative analysis.

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It’s Good to Be Blue: A Nursing Study Abroad Exploration of the Sardinian Blue Zone

Blue Zones are areas of the world where, according to studies performed by National Geographic and other experts, people live measurably longer, happier lives with lower rates of chronic disease and a higher quality of life than they do in the United States. There are five identified Blue Zones, with nine common characteristics among these five locations, known as the Power 9 which are related to diet, exercise, relationships, and spirituality. Sardinia, Italy, the first identified Blue Zone, has the greatest concentration of male centenarians in the world.

A nursing professor, along with 17 nursing students, traveled to Sardinia, Italy in May, 2017 to explore the culture, lifestyles, and ultimately the Power 9 at work. In Sardinia, students visited a Blue Zone and interviewed centenarians in their homes, visited local markets, met with longevity experts, visited a winery and olive oil mill, participated in a cooking class, and experienced typical Sardinian celebrations, meals, and social activities. Students and the faculty member analyzed the collected data using a narrative thematic analysis to determine connections to the Power 9 and overall lifestyle characteristics aiding in longevity.

The overall aim of this visit was to research the Blue Zone and draw conclusions about the Power 9 characteristics by interviewing, observing, and analyzing. Students immersed themselves in Sardinian culture and brought back information to the local university community and community as a whole. The plan is to implement Blue Zone ideals locally and potentially to implement the Blue Zone Project with the help of the Blue Zone experts.

Visiting the Blue Zone in Sardinia was extremely valuable for nursing students in bringing health promotion ideals back to the community and to patients in a variety of settings. Also, this was an important introduction to qualitative research techniques such as interviewing and qualitative analysis.