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Meera Sreedhara, Karin Valentine Goins, Christine Frisard, Milagros C. Rosal and Stephenie C. Lemon

Background: Local health departments (LHDs) are increasingly involved in Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs), a collaborative planning process that represents an opportunity for prioritizing physical activity. We determined the proportion of LHDs reporting active transportation strategies in CHIPs and associations between LHD characteristics and such strategies. Methods: A national probability survey of US LHDs (<500,000 residents; 30.2% response rate) was conducted in 2017 (n = 162). LHDs reported the inclusion of 8 active transportation strategies in a CHIP. We calculated the proportion of LHDs reporting each strategy. Multivariate logistic regression models determined the associations between LHD characteristics and inclusion of strategies in a CHIP. Inverse probability weights were applied for each stratum. Results: 45.6% of US LHDs reported participating in a CHIP with ≥1 active transportation strategy. Proportions for specific strategies ranged from 22.3% (Safe Routes to School) to 4.1% (Transit-Oriented Development). Achieving national accreditation (odds ratio [OR] = 3.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11–12.05), pursuing accreditation (OR = 3.40; 95% CI, 1.25–9.22), using credible resources (OR = 5.25; 95% CI, 1.77–15.56), and collaborating on a Community Health Assessment (OR = 4.48; 95% CI, 1.23–16.29) were associated with including a strategy in a CHIP after adjusting for covariates. Conclusions: CHIPs are untapped tools, but national accreditation, using credible resources, and Community Health Assessment collaboration may support strategic planning efforts to improve physical activity.

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Jeanette Gustat, Christopher E. Anderson, Keelia O’Malley, Tian Hu, Rachel G. Tabak, Karin Valentine Goins, Cheryl Valko, Jill S. Litt and Amy A. Eyler

Background: To assess how perceptions of the community built environment influence support for community policies that promote physical activity (PA). Methods: A national cross-sectional survey assessed perceptions of the local built environment and support of community policies, including school and workplace policies, promoting PA. A random digit–dialed telephone survey was conducted in US counties selected on Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for high or low prevalence of obesity and inactivity. A total of 1208 subjects were interviewed, 642 from high-prevalence counties and 566 from low-prevalence counties. Analyses were stratified by county prevalence of obesity and inactivity (high or low). Linear models adjusted for covariates were constructed to assess the influence of built environment perceptions on policy support. Results: Perception of more destinations near the residence was associated with increased support for community policies that promote PA, including tax increases in low-prevalence (obesity and inactivity) counties (P < .01). Positive perception of the workplace environment was associated (P < .001) with increased support for workplace policies among those in high-, but not low-, prevalence counties. Conclusions: Support for community policies promoting PA varies by perception of the built environment, which has implications for policy change.