San Luis Obispo is a cozy, little city located in California with a population just over 46,000. The bustling city is nestled between beautiful mountains and filled with green, healthy trees. Located off the 101 freeway between San Francisco and Los Angeles and just 15 minutes from the pristine California coastline, SLO (as the locals call it) has been my home since age 5.
Recently, SLO was recognized as “The Happiest Place in America” by researcher Dan Buettner in his New York Times Bestseller affiliate book “The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest“. According to his website:
In 2004, Dan Buettner teamed up with National Geographic and the world’s best longevity researchers to identify pockets around the world where people live measurably longer better. In these “Blue Zones” they found that people reach age 100 at rates 10 times greater than in the United States.
After identifying 5 of the world’s Blue Zones, Dan and National Geographic took teams of scientists to each location to identify lifestyle characteristics that might explain longevity. They found that the lifestyles of all Blue Zones residents shared nine specific characteristics
SLO was recently recognized as the most Emotionally Healthy Place in America! How did SLO top the charts?
Home: With over 6,500 acres of protected open space, pleasant sunny weather, a historic downtown and interesting landmarks, SLO is the gem of the Central Coast.
Self: With plenty of sunshine, a tobacco-free downtown, and access to fresh, healthy food, local residents are surrounded by a healthy lifestyle and encouraged to eat healthy and maintain a healthy environment.
Financial Life: Materialism exists in SLO, however it doesn’t take center stage so residents are able to save money and spend on events, activities, and recreation.
Social Life: SLO boasts many weekly community oriented activities, encouraging residents to gather, socialize, celebrate and relax, including Farmers Market’s, Concerts in the Mission Plaza, children’s actives, and more.
Workplace: A 17% Self-employed rate allows residents flexible work hours and environment, and larger local businesses strive to provide their employees a healthy work/life balance.
Community: Thankful to live in such a beautiful area, the local community feels a sense of pride and neighborly goodwill. Almost 1 in 3 residents donate their time to non-profits.
Affiliate Further Reading
Check out Dan Buettner’s follow up book, “The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People“.