Could Buxton become an oasis of health and happiness?

Dr Sarah Rawlinson, head of the department of hotel resort and spa management. Photo: Sally Edwards.
Dr Sarah Rawlinson, head of the department of hotel resort and spa management. Photo: Sally Edwards.

Buxton could be one of the world’s fabled “Blue Zones” – oases of health and happiness where people live to ripe old ages.

It could develop into a wellness centre as part of a business worth $3.7 trillion a year worldwide, Dr Sarah Rawlinson, head of hospitality, resort and spa management, told the University of Derby’s Spa, Tourism and Wellness Conference at its campus in the town.

Blue Zones are areas where people live measurably longer lives, often into their 90s and beyond. Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia, Costa Rica’s Nicoya and the Greek island of Icaria are all Blue Zones which have been studied by scientists to discover their secret.

Now their research – which discovered the key is a healthy lifestyle plus family connections, social interaction and a sense of meaning to one’s life – is being used to create artificial Blue Zones in the USA and the Netherlands where workplace absenteeism and healthcare costs have been reduced.

Buxton’s Crescent is currently being redeveloped as a five-star hotel with the latest spa services, and now is the time for the town – according to Dr Rawlinson – to capitalise on the growing demand for holidays which restore people’s mind, body and spirit.

Dr Rawlinson said: “I would love to launch a project here in Buxton to think about the town becoming an artificial Blue Zone as it builds on its heritage as a spa and wellness town.”