Indicators of Activity-Friendly Communities: An Evidence-Based Consensus Process

Regular physical activity, even at modest intensities, is associated with many health benefits. Most Americans, however, do not engage in the recommended levels. As practitioners seek ways to increase population rates of physical activity, interventions and advocacy efforts are being targeted to the community level. Yet, advocates, community leaders, and researchers lack the tools needed to assess local barriers to and opportunities for more active, healthy lifestyles. Investigators used a systematic review process to identify key indicators of activity-friendly communities that can assess and improve opportunities for regular physical activity. Investigators conducted a comprehensive literature review of both peer-reviewed literature and fugitive information (e.g., reports and websites) to generate an initial list of indicators for review (n=230). The review included a three-tiered, modified Delphi consensus-development process that incorporated input of international, national, state, and local researchers and practitioners from academic institutions, federal and state government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and funding agencies in public health, transportation, urban planning, parks and recreation, and public policy. Ten promising indicators of activity-friendly communities were identified: land use environment, access to exercise facilities, transportation environment, aesthetics, travel patterns, social environment, land use economics, transportation economics, institutional and organizational policies, and promotion. Collaborative, multidisciplinary approaches are underway to test, refine, and expand this initial list of indicators and to develop measures that communities, community leaders, and policymakers can use to design more activity-friendly community environments.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Abstract reprinted with permission of Elsevier.
  • Authors:
    • Ramirez, Laura K Brennan
    • Hoehner, Christine M
    • Brownson, Ross C
    • Cook, Rebeka
    • Orleans, C Tracy
    • Hollander, Marla
    • Barker, Dianne C
    • Bors, Philip
    • Ewing, Reid
    • Killingsworth, Richard
    • Petersmarck, Karen
    • Schmid, Thomas
    • Wilkinson, William
  • Publication Date: 2006-12


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01046695
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 23 2007 7:49PM