The Promoting Active Communities Program: Improvement of Michigan’s Self-Assessment Tool

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Katherine Alaimo
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Ellen M. Bassett
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Risa Wilkerson
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Karen Petersmarck
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Jennifer Mosack
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David Mendez
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Chris Coutts
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Lisa Grost
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Lori Stegmier
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Background:

This project updated and improved the Promoting Active Communities Program (PAC), a Web-based assessment that enables communities to scrutinize their programs, policies, and environments related to physical activity, generating ideas and community commitment for improvements.

Methods:

A literature review, focus groups, and expert review guided PAC improvements.

Results:

Over 150 articles and audit measures in the fields of transportation, public health, and urban planning were reviewed. Indicators were identified, categorized, and evaluated for use in the PAC. Focus-group participants communicated motivations, processes, and obstacles for completing the PAC and developing an action plan. Participants requested technical information to guide them in achieving active-living environments.

Conclusions:

Information gathered was used to improve the PAC Web site. A technical assistance document, Design Guidelines for Active Michigan Communities, was created to aid communities in creating active-living environments. The new PAC and Design Guidelines are available for public use at www.mihealthtools.org/communities.

Alaimo and Mosack are with the Dept of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824. Bassett is now with Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97201. Wilkerson is with the Michigan Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Lansing, MI 48909. Petersmarck and Grost are with the Michigan Dept of Community Health, Lansing, MI 48906. Mendez is with the School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Coutts is with the Dept of Urban and Regional Planning, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306. Stegmier is with Fountain Hill Consulting, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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