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Sonja Kahlmeier, Francesca Racioppi, Nick Cavill, Harry Rutter and Pekka Oja

Background:

There is growing interest in “Health in All Policies” approaches, aiming at promoting health through policies which are under the control of nonhealth sectors. While economic appraisal is an established practice in transport planning, health effects are rarely taken into account. An international project was carried out to develop guidance and tools for practitioners for quantifying the health effects of cycling and walking, supporting their full appraisal.

Development Process:

A systematic review of existing approaches was carried out. Then, the products were developed with an international expert panel through an extensive consensus finding process.

Products and Applications:

Methodological guidance was developed which addresses the main challenges practitioners encounter in the quantification of health effects from cycling and walking. A “Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for cycling” was developed which is being used in several countries.

Conclusions:

There is a need for a more consistent approach to the quantification of health benefits from cycling and walking. This project is providing guidance and an illustrative tool for cycling for practical application. Results show that substantial savings can be expected. Such tools illustrate the importance of considering health in transport policy and infrastructure planning, putting “Health in All Policies” into practice.

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Signe B. Daugbjerg, Sonja Kahlmeier, Francesca Racioppi, Eva Martin-Diener, Brian Martin, Pekka Oja and Fiona Bull

Background:

Over the past years there has been increasing interest in physical activity promotion and the development of appropriate policy. So far, there has been no comprehensive overview of the activities taking place in Europe in this area of public health policy.

Methods:

Using different search methods, 49 national policy documents on physical activity promotion were identified. An analysis grid covering key features was developed for the analysis of the 27 documents published in English.

Results:

Analysis showed that many general recommendations for policy developments are being followed, for example: general goals were formulated, an implementation plan was included, a timeframe and a responsible body for the implementation was often specified. However, limited evidence for intersectoral collaboration was found. Quantified goals for physical activity were the exception. Population groups most in need such as people with low levels of physical activity were rarely specifically targeted. Most policies emphasized the importance of an evaluation. However, only about half of them indicated a related intention or requirement.

Conclusion:

In recent years there has been a noticeable development of national policy documents on physical activity promotion. Following principles for policy development more closely could increase the effectiveness of their preparation and implementation further.