Blue Zones Project® Contributes to TCU’s Growing Culture of Well-being

The TCU Horned Frogs are making the leap to better well-being with Blue Zones Project®, the community-led well-being improvement initiative working to make Fort Worth one of the healthiest cities in the nation.

This week, Blue Zones Project founder Dan Buettner got an up-close look at how TCU impacts Fort Worth’s well-being. Buettner visited the Brown-Lupton University Union Market Square, the campus’s largest dining facility and Fort Worth’s busiest restaurant—which earned the title of Blue Zones Project Approved restaurant thanks to lighter portions and more plant-based recipes.

Photo of Dan Buettner with TCU students

Dan Buettner visits Market Square. (L-R) Alexis Endicott, Alby Bounlutay, Buettner, Chandler Bourff and Jaclynn Clay

“Most of the people eating here, 19- and 20-year-olds, are laying down lifelong healthy behaviors,” said Buettner after touring Market Square with nutrition students who have helped implement the changes. “They are tasting healthy foods and developing habits that can last a lifetime and really make an impact on avoiding chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease that are killing so many people in my generation.”

The changes at Market Square are part of a growing well-being movement at TCU. The university is also a Blue Zones Project Approved worksite, which means it’s making healthy choices easier for faculty and staff. More than 25 percent of TCU employees took the Blue Zones Personal Pledge to commit to improving their own well-being. Blue Zones Project also worked with the university to implement evidence-based best practices inspired by lifestyles in the world’s Blue Zones, areas where people live the longest. For example, TCU established a tobacco-free policy, hosted plant-based cooking classes as well as workshops to help employees identify their life’s purpose and designated quiet areas for meditation or lactation. The university also mapped out walking routes around the campus and installed bike racks and shower facilities for employees.

“TCU has a longstanding commitment to the well-being of both students and employees, and we are working to make healthy choices even easier across our campus,” said David Upton, TCU wellness program manager. “Blue Zones Project is a great partner in that effort, providing the framework and the resources to help TCU create a culture of wellness that will have a long-term impact on the health and well-being of our students and employees.”

Since Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth kicked off in February 2015, more than 260 restaurants, grocery stores, schools, worksites, faith-based organizations and other groups have joined the movement to better well-being. More than 74,000 people have gotten involved in Blue Zones Project activities. To learn more, visit