Dan Buettner



Photo: Dan Buettner

Photograph by Mark Thiessen

Dan Buettner is an internationally recognized researcher, explorer, and New York Times best-selling author. He founded Blue Zones®, a company that puts the world's best practices in longevity and well-being to work in people's lives. Buettner's November 2005 National Geographic article on longevity, "The Secrets of Living Longer," was the cover story of one of the magazine's top-selling issues in history and made him a finalist for a National Magazine Award. His books The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest and Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way, appeared on many best-seller lists and were featured on Oprah. In 2009 Buettner and his partner, AARP, applied principles of "The Blue Zones" in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and successfully raised life expectancy and lowered health care costs by some 40 percent. Buettner is currently working with Healthways to implement the program in the beach cities of Los Angeles. Their strategy focuses on optimizing the health environment instead of individual behavior change. Buettner also holds three world records in distance cycling and has won an Emmy Award for television production.


Inside National Geographic Magazine

  • Photo: Okinawan woman inspects a handful of edible seaweed

    The Secrets of Long Life

    Residents of Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma Linda, California, live longer, healthier lives than just about anyone else on Earth.


In Their Words

Set up your life, your home environment, your social environment, and your workplace so that you're constantly nudged into behaviors that favor longevity.

—Dan Buettner



  • Castelsardo, Sardinia, at dusk.

    Sardinia, Italy

    In a cluster of villages in the mountains of central Sardinia, residents enjoy extraordinary longevity, particularly among males.


Listen to Dan Buettner

Hear an interview with Buettner on National Geographic Weekend.

  • 00:09:00 Dan Buettner

    Ten years ago, National Geographic author Dan Buettner identified the places in the world where people live the longest. He called the regions “Blue Zones.” Now he has found a hotspot of longevity where, on average, men live longer than anywhere else on Earth. Buettner joins Boyd to share the secrets of this small village in Sardinia.

Meet All Our Explorers

  • NationalGeographic_1289095-flag.jpg

    Explorers A-Z

    At the heart of our explorers program is the quest for knowledge through exploration and the people who make it possible.

  • Photo: Michael Lombardi diving

    Explorers by Category

    Browse our different areas of exploration and discover the fascinating people behind the projects.