Developing the Active Communities Tool to Implement the Community Guide’s Built Environment Recommendation for Increasing Physical Activity
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Developing the Active Communities Tool to Implement the Community Guide’s Built Environment Recommendation for Increasing Physical Activity

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    • Alternative Title:
      Prev Chronic Dis
    • Description:
      Physical activity is higher in communities that include supportive features for walking and bicycling. In 2016, the Community Preventive Services Task Force released a systematic review of built environment approaches to increase physical activity. The results of the review recommended approaches that combine interventions to improve pedestrian and bicycle transportation systems with land use and environmental design strategies. Because the recommendation was multifaceted, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that communities could benefit from an assessment tool to address the breadth of the Task Force recommendations. The purpose of this article is to describe the systematic approach used to develop the Active Communities Tool. First, we created and refined a logic model and community theory of change for tool development. Second, we reviewed existing community-based tools and abstracted key elements (item domains, advantages, disadvantages, updates, costs, permissions to use, and psychometrics) from 42 tools. The review indicated that no tool encompassed the breadth of the Community Guide recommendations for communities. Third, we developed a new tool and pilot tested its use with 9 diverse teams with public health and planning expertise. Final revisions followed from pilot team and expert input. The Active Communities Tool comprises 6 modules addressing all 8 interventions recommended by the Task Force. The tool is designed to help cross-sector teams create an action plan for improving community built environments that promote physical activity and may help to monitor progress toward achieving community conditions known to promote physical activity.
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