Table of Contents
To understand the relationships between street-scale environments and rates of physical activity, it is crucial to develop reliable methods of measurement. Community audits are commonly used to test the possibilities to walk and/or cycle in the environments. Audit tools were collected from the peer-reviewed literature, the Internet, and via experts from a variety of backgrounds. Two versions of an audit instrument were created: an analytic (with Likert scale and ordinal response choices) and a checklist (with dichotomous response choices) audit tool. Audits were conducted in St. Louis, Missouri for 147 street segments, representing both higher income and lower income neighborhoods. The same segments were re-audited by different individuals.
Data on the tool’s reliability have been presented (Brownson et al., 2004).
Author of Tool:
Brownson, R. C., Brennan Ramirez, L. K., Hoehner, C. M., Cook, R. A.
Brownson, R. C., Hoehner, C. M., Brennan, L. K., Cook, R. A., Elliott, M. B., & Mcmullen, K. M. (2004). Reliability of 2 instruments for auditing the environment for physical activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 1(3), 191-208.
Primary use / Purpose:
The Analytic and Checklist Audit Tools are used to understand the relationships between street-scale environments and rates of physical activity. Features of the street-scale environment include types of destinations, side-walk quality, presence of litter and graffiti, presence of trees, availability of public transit, and types of recreational destinations.
A community audit tool can be relatively easy and quick to administer and for many domains, is reliable. The audit tools appear particularly well suited for capturing elements in the transportation and land use environments.