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School Physical Activity Policy Assessment (S-PAPA)

The S-PAPA uses open-ended, dichotomous, multichotomous, and checklist formatting and has 7 background items and three modules: (a) Physical Education (40 items); (b) Recess (27 items), and (c) Other Before, During, and After School Programs (15 items). Test-retest results suggest SPAPA items are reliable and can be useful in assessing PA policies in elementary schools (Lounsbery et al., 2011). Total administration time for all three modules is approximately 23 minutes.

Author of Tool: 
Monica Lounsbery, PhD, Thomas McKenzie, James Morrow, & Kathryn Holt, BS

Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale (POEMS)

Includes a user guide, the scale and scoring protocol (additional Scoring Protocols are sold in a set of 10 separately, reliability and validity information, and a technical assistance manual for program improvement and planning can be found at the weblink below.

Author of Tool: 
Hestenes, L., DeBord, K., Moore, R., Cosco, N., & McGuinnis, J.

Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale – Youth (NEWS-Y)

The tool assesses residential density, land use mix (including indices of proximity and accessibility), street connectivity, infrastructure for walking/cycling, neighborhood aesthetics, and traffic and crime safety. There are separate self-administered versions for parents and adolescents (aged 11 and above).

The NEWS-Y instrument was derived from the NEWS-A, adaptations were made based on interviews with youth and parents, and it was tested in the Active Where? Study.

Author of Tool: 
Brian E. Saelens, Ph.D.

PIN3 Neighborhood Audit Instrument

The tool was originally developed to assess environments in urban and rural North Carolina. Researchers are encouraged to use the instrument in other geographic areas to confirm their applicability to different locations.

Author of Tool: 
Kelly Evenson, Ph.D., Carrie Fesperman, Brian Frizzelle, Barbara Laraia, Annie Lux, Lynne Messer, and Daniel Rodriguez.

NCI Standardized Surveys of Walking & Bicycling Database

Author of Tool: 
David Berrigan, PhD, MPH

Active Where? Surveys

The Active Where? Study was designed to develop measures to understand how the physical environment impacts physical activity and eating behaviors related to chronic diseases, such as obesity, among children and youth. This study started with individual interviews with children and parents 'in situ', thus allowing researchers to observe and interact with youth while using neighborhood and park environments. This formative work was designed to generate appropriate items.

A set of quantitative survey measures was developed to assess home, neighborhood, park, and school environments to...

Author of Tool: 
Jacqueline Kerr, Ph.D., James Sallis, Ph.D., Dori E. Rosenberg, M.P.H., Grregory Norman, Ph.D., Brian Saelens, Ph.D., & Nefertiti Durant, Ph.D.

Walking Route Audit Tool for Seniors (WRATS)

The main domains addressed by the Walking Route Audit Tool for Seniors (WRATS) are: functionality, safety, aesthetics, and destinations. The tool includes 59 items and most are measured using a 3-point scale.

Author of Tool: 
Jacqueline Kerr, Ph.D. and Dori E. Rosenberg, M.S.

The Rural Active Living Assessment (RALA) Tools

The Rural Active Living Assessment (RALA) tools include three separate components: 1) Town-Wide (18 town characteristic questions, and inventory of 15 recreational amenities), 2) Program and Policy (20 questions), and 3) Street Segment (28 questions) Assessments. These three assessment instruments are designed to be used together and provide a comprehensive measure addressing many of the unique factors believed to be important to active living in rural communities.

The RALA tools were developed using an evidence-informed framework and substantial input from rural residents, and they...

Author of Tool: 
David Hartley, Ph.D., Anush Yousefian, M.S., Renee Umstattd, Ph.D., Jeffrey Hallam, Ph.D., Christina Economos, Ph.D., Raymond Hyatt, Ph.D., & Erin Hennessy, M.P.H.

Behaviors of Eating and Activity for Children’s Health: Evaluation System (BEACHES)

The Behaviors of Eating and Activity for Children’s Health: Evaluation System (BEACHES) is a direct observation system used to simultaneously record children’s physical activity and sedentary behaviors as well as related environmental characteristics and events. The physical activity codes have been validated using heart rate monitors and accelerometers, and the system can be used in homes, schools, and most settings where children might be found.The original system was developed within the framework of behavioral analysis and included coding for 10 separate dimensions. These dimensions...

Author of Tool: 
Thomas L. McKenzie, Ph.D.

Path Environment Audit Tool (PEAT)

To determine how physical characteristics of trails may influence use, reliable and valid audit tools are needed. The Path Environment Audit Tool (PEAT) was developed with design, amenity, and aesthetics/maintenance items. Two observers independently audited 185 trail segments at 6 Massachusetts facilities. GPS-derived items were used as a "gold standard." Kappa (k) statistics, observed agreement and ICCs were calculated to assess inter-observer reliability and validity. Fifteen of 16 primary amenity items had k-values > 0.49 ("moderate") and all had observed agreement > 81%. Seven...

Author of Tool: 
Philip J. Troped, Ph.D., Ellen Cromley, Ph.D.

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