Live long and prosper in Buxton’s Blue Zone

16 February 2017

Buxton could be one of the world’s fabled “Blue Zones” – oases of health and happiness where people live to ripe old ages – if the town takes up a challenge by the University of Derby.

With its claim to be England’s Leading Spa Town, Buxton could develop into a Wellness centre as part of a business worth $3.7 trillion a year worldwide, Dr Sarah Rawlinson, Head of Hospitality, Resort and Spa Management, told the University’s Spa, Tourism and Wellness Conference at its Campus in the town.

Head of hospitality

Blue Zones are areas where people live measurably longer lives, often into their nineties and beyond. Okinawa in JapanSardinia, Costa Rica’s Nicoya and the Greek island of Icaria are all Blue Zones which have been studied by scientists to discover their secret.

Now their research – which discovered the key is a healthy lifestyle plus family connections, social interaction and a sense of meaning to one’s life – is being used to create artificial Blue Zones in the USA and the Netherlands where workplace absenteeism and healthcare costs have been reduced.

Buxton’s Crescent is currently being redeveloped as a five-star hotel with the latest spa services, and now is the time for the town – with its setting in the middle of the Peak District – to capitalise on the growing demand for holidays which restore people’s mind, body and spirit.

Dr Rawlinson added: “Wellness is something which is increasingly important to our national agenda.

“I would love to launch a project here in Buxton to think about the town becoming an artificial Blue Zone as it builds on its heritage as a spa and wellness town through the development of The Crescent, particularly as our health system struggles with the number of Baby Boomers reaching old age.”

The Government has recognised Wellness, with its mix of lifestyle changes and emotional therapies such as mindfulness, as a tool to reduce the cost to society of obesity, a growing lack physical of fitness and increasing mental health issues.

But it’s also big business, with an estimated 17.8 million people a year booking Wellness holidays worldwide, said Dr Rawlinson.