London Bay Homes Becomes First Homebuilder in Southwest Florida to Earn Blue Zones Project Approved Worksite Status

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In recognition of London Bay Homes’ long-standing commitment to helping its employees achieve healthier lifestyles, Blue Zones Project-Southwest Florida has recognized the company as the first homebuilder in the area designated as a Blue Zones Project Approved Worksite.

Mark Wilson, President and CEO of London Bay Homes

“A team member’s overall health and wellness makes for a happy and more productive person. The Blue Zones Project designation is a natural evolution for us.”

In recognition of London Bay Homes’ long-standing commitment to helping its employees achieve healthier lifestyles, Blue Zones Project-Southwest Florida has recognized the company as the first homebuilder in the area designated as a Blue Zones Project Approved Worksite.

“The Blue Zones Project was a natural fit for us,” said Sabra Smith, vice president of human resources for London Bay Homes. “During the past several years, we have created a wellness-focused workplace. We offer all of our employees gym memberships, Fitbit fitness trackers, stability balls to replace office chairs, wellness-inspired challenges, as well as nutritional coaching and healthy lifestyle programs throughout the year – all free of charge.”

Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer and better. The company's work is rooted in the New York Times best-selling books by Dan Buettner, “The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People,” and “Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way,” both published by National Geographic. Since 2009, Blue Zones has applied the tenets of the books to communities and corporations across the U.S. and has successfully raised life expectancy and lowered health care costs while bringing down smoking and obesity rates.

In 2010, the Blue Zones Project team partnered with the Beach Cities Health District in Southern California to apply Blue Zones principles to three California communities: Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. The results include a 14 percent drop in obesity and a decrease in smoking rates of 30 percent across the entire community after just two years.

Brought to Southwest Florida through sponsorship by NCH Healthcare System, in collaboration with Healthways, the Blue Zones Project is based on principles developed by Buettner and measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the first-ever daily assessment of U.S. residents’ health and well-being.

London Bay Homes’ President and CEO Mark Wilson is as passionate about developing and retaining top-notch employees as he is about creating luxurious custom homes. Nearly two years ago, he created a corporate wellness program at London Bay Homes after coming to the realization that he has access to health screenings and wellness programs and wanted his employees to have the same opportunities.

“We consider our employees as a whole person, not just what happens from 8 to 5,” said Wilson. “A team member’s overall health and wellness makes for a happy and more productive person. The Blue Zones Project designation is a natural evolution for us.”

Wilson, an active cyclist and fitness enthusiast, has climbed peaks in the Alps and Himalayas and has scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Earlier this year, London Bay Homes established and funded a multi-faceted health and wellness program for its employees. The 12-week program included partnering with Dr. Corey Howard, president and CEO of Physicians Life Centers and a functional medicine practitioner whose focus goes beyond traditional medical thinking to identify the root cause of the issues we face.

Participating employees attended the first session, which included a full blood work analysis followed by a one-on-one consultation; a series of educational seminars with topics ranging from nutrition and fitness, to sleep, stress management and mindfulness; and Lunchtime Moai (MO-eye) Walking Groups and workout sessions, facilitated by Howard, in which employees were encouraged to ask health-related questions. Moai, Japanese for “meeting for a common purpose,” are social groups that form to provide support based on financial, social, health or spiritual interests.

In addition, the company routinely promotes social gatherings to help build stronger relationships within the workplace and coordinates fundraisers to give back to the community.

Collectively, the employees successfully reduced their total body mass index by 6 percent and adopted healthier eating habits.

“I am truly a believer that when you feel better, you do better,” said Wilson. “This permeates throughout the entire company, creating an environment of positive focus resulting in better client experiences, which is at the core of London Bay Homes’ success, as well as our mission.”

A leader in the Southwest Florida home market for 25 years, London Bay Homes has been named America’s Best Builder by Builder magazine. The company builds new luxury custom homes priced from $1 million to more than $10 million in many of the region’s most exclusive neighborhoods and communities. The company also builds private residences on individual homesites near downtown Naples, the Sarasota Keys and along the Gulf of Mexico. For more information about London Bay Homes, call 239-592-1400 or visit http://www.LondonBay.com.

For more information about Blue Zones, contact the Blue Zones Project-Southwest Florida team at 239-624-2312 or visit http://www.bluezonesproject.com.

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