Van Meter, Inc. Siouxland's First Blue Zones Workplace

It's a new milestone for Sioux City's "Blue Zones" project.

The team has announced the first official Blue Zones workplace in the region.

This announcement marks a significant milestone in the Blue Zone Project, which aims to raise life expectancy and lower health care costs across the city.

Today Van Meter Inc. launched the program to help its own employees get to a healthier lifestyle.

The Blue Zones Project and Van Meter employees began their partnership and journey today towards a balanced, happier, and healthier community.

"Health and wellness is an integral part of our culture and so when we knew- we heard about the blue zone initiative we were really behind anything we could do to support Sioux City's efforts and certify this work site," said Vice President Rob Olney.

In order to join this initiative, Van Meter completed a checklist, which includes committing to well-being solutions, and better work environments.

"With the blue zones, it's another focus on health and wellness and we really focus on employee engagement in our company - and a healthy, happy employee is one that's engaged and likes to come to work and is more productive," said Regional Sales Manager Wade Ten Napel.

Part of that productivity stems from special areas inside the business, where employees can benefit from "wellness rooms" to keep workers balanced, rested, and healthy.

It's already paying off; because of the Blue Zones Project, employers are seeing benefits not only in their work life but their personal lives as well.

"It's certainly a life improvement for me and I certainly think it's a lifestyle improvement for me and also the rest of the people that work here," said Van Meter employee Mike Scaletta "You know you lose twenty-nine pounds, and you know, and I guarantee you're going to feel better and that's kind of what helped me."

And that's exactly the type of result that the Blue Zone Project hopes will make Iowa the healthiest state in America by 2016.

For more information on how you can get involved check out