Blue Zone documentary
By lkidder - September 8, 2023

By Larry Kidder | Members of the Senior Wellness Program at Loma Linda University Drayson Center were prominently featured in Dan Buettner's newest documentary, "Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones" Episode 2: "An Unexpected Journey," on Netflix. For additional photos, scroll down.

Drayson Center seniors were the main focus of Dan Buettner's documentary, "Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones," featured prominently in Episode 2.

The limited series now showing on Netflix talks about the world's five "blue zones," a term coined by Buettner to describe areas with the highest percentages of centenarians among the population. Loma Linda is the only blue zone in an urban setting, where life tends to be more fast-paced, stressful, and hectic.

The other four blue zones include: Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; the Ogliastra region of the island of Sardinia, Italy; and the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. All of these regions—except Loma Linda—are quaint, relaxed, and secluded.

In a groundbreaking article published in 2005 by National Geographic magazine, titled "The Secrets of Long Life," Buettner first shared his findings from traveling around the world in search of the longest-living populations. The article sparked numerous other media organizations to write similar articles and produce videos documenting the unusual health and longevity of Seventh-day Adventists.

Buettner also developed the "blue zone" concept into a website,, and wrote a book about his discoveries, The Blue Zones: Secrets of Living Longer, as well as a number of other related books.

The limited series on Netflix includes four episodes: "The Journey Begins," "An Unexpected Discovery," "The End of Blue Zones?" and "The Future of Longevity." Drayson Center is primarily featured in the second half of Episode 2.

The second episode shows Drayson Center seniors taking part in a number of fitness-related activities including water aerobics, balance and stability classes, basketball, pickleball, walking, and mountain biking. Buettner also points out the strong religious focus of Seventh-day Adventists, nutritional aspects of their diet related to disease prevention and longevity, the importance of community and service, and the emphasis on exercise and activity.

To view the series, access your Netflix account and search for "blue zones" or the name Buettner.

Scroll down for additional photos. All photos were captured from the actual series, so the quality is not ideal.

Balance and stability

One senior-focused class at Drayson Center focuses on balance and stability, helping seniors to avoid falls and resulting injuries.

Dr. Medina

Dr. Loida Medina, mother of Drayson Center director Kim Knowlton, was a major force behind pickleball coming to Loma Linda. She is still playing pickleball at the age of 84.

Table tennis

Table tennis is a favorite among the senior membership. Some members spend the better part of most days enjoying singles, doubles, and drills for skills.

Dr. Joan Sabaté

Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH, professor of public health and medicine at Loma Linda University, spoke more in depth about the relationship between nutrition and longevity, particularly focusing on the practice of vegetarianism and its protection against disease.

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