Active Living Fact Sheets
Environmental Audit Tools
Tools to measure the walkability and cycleability of the local environment
Achieving sufficient physical activity has physical, social and mental health benefits. Current recommendations suggest that adults should accumulate 30 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all days of the week. These recommendations also emphasise ‘active living’ which is a way of life in which activity is incorporated into daily activities and routines, rather than achieving regular bouts of vigorous physical activity.
There is a growing body of research investigating the links between physical activity and the environment in which people live, work and play. Planning and designing communities so that they support, facilitate and encourage active living is becoming an important strategy to increase participation in physical activity. Assessing a community’s physical environment, especially aspects related to walking and cycling has the potential to inform and direct aspects of the planning process.
These fact sheets provide background information on physical activity and active living as well as highlighting a selection of audit tools for those wanting to assess or evaluate aspects of the environment. They have been developed for those working on physical activity projects and initiatives with an environmental component or focus. These fact sheets provide relevant information and resources for public health workers, urban planners, local government, community and non government organisations.
This is not an exhaustive list of audit tools but rather a selection of those designed to date. Many have been developed for specific uses and may require modification. Those seeking to include an audit of the environment as a component of a project may wish to pilot a number of tools before deciding which is the most appropriate for the intended application.
Current Available Factsheets:
- The Environment and Active Living
- Assessing the Physical Environment
- Modifying Audit Tools
- Involving the Community in Assessing the Environment
- Bikeability Checklist for Local Government
- Healthy Urban Environments Site Assessment Audit
- Irvine-Minnesota Inventory
- Neighbourhood Environment Walkability Survey
- Pedestrian Safety and Bicycle Safety Audit Checklists
- SPACES Instrument
- “St Louis” Tool
- Walkability and Bikeability Checklists