Environmental Assessment for Physical Activity Survey

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Project Details


The Prevention Research Center (PRC), the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness/Michigan Fitness Foundation (GC/MFF) proposed to improve, expand, and evaluate a Michigan internet-based tool that assessed communities’ policy and environmental amenability to physical activity and encouraged positive change processes to promote physical activity.

The specific aims of the three-year project were:

  1. To improve the MI Promoting Active Communities (PAC) environmental and policy internet-based assessment tool based on information obtained from focus groups of users, expert panel opinions, and theoretical models of the relationship between policy and environmental conditions and physical activity
  2. To adapt the tool for use in promoting and assessing physical activity environmental changes at the neighborhood level
  3. To evaluate how well use of the tool assesses and facilitates the promotion of policy and environmental conditions associated with promoting physical activity at the community level
  4. To further improve the tool based on results of this study
  5. To create processes that expand use of the tool for state-wide surveillance and for dissemination to other states and communities

The long-term objective was to develop the tool to be used state-wide and nationally for community-level environmental and policy assessment and surveillance and to facilitate community change to increase physical activity.

Journal Articles

Alaimo, K., Bassett, E. M., Wilkerson, R., Petersmarck, K., Mosack, J., Mendez, D., Couttst, C., Grost, L., & Stegmier, L. (2008). The Promoting Active Communities Program: improvement of Michigan’s self-assessment tool. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 5(1), 4–18.


Alaimo, K., Wilkerson, R., Mosack, J., Bassett, E., Petersmarck, K., Grost, L., Mendez, D., & Panken, S. (2007, November 5). Michigan’s Promoting Active Communities program: Building local capacity for physical activity environments through self-assessment. Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C.
Bassett, E., Alaimo, K., Wilkerson, R., & Grost, L. (2007, October). How Reliable is Michigan’s Promoting Active Communities Self-Assessment Tool? Preliminary Insights from the Community Audit Process. Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Conference, Milwaukee, WI.
Alaimo, K., Bassett, E., Petersmarck, K., Wilkerson, R., Mendez, M., & Mosack, J. (2006, April 18). Active Living Promotion and Surveillance in Michigan: Promoting Active Communities Award. International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health, Atlanta, GA.
Alaimo, K., Bassett, E., Wilkerson, R., Petersmarck, K., Mosack, J., Coutts, C., Mendez, D., & Stegmier, L. (2006, February 17). Promoting Active Community Environments:  Development of Michigan’s Self-Assessment Tool [Poster]. Robert Wood Johnson Active Living By Design Annual Conference, Coronado, CA.
Alaimo, K. (2005, May 19). Healthy Communities: What’s land use got to do with it? Michigan State University Land Policy Program’s 2005 Michigan Land Use Summit, Lansing, MI.
Alaimo, K., Petersmarck, K., Wilkerson, R., Mendez, M., & Bassett, E. (2004, December 3). Designing Healthy Michigan Communities. Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DHHS, Atlanta, GA.


Alaimo, K., Bassett, E., Wilkerson, R., Smiley, M., Warbach, J., Hines, J., Guzmàn, L., Krup, C., Mosack, J., & Petersmarck, K. (2006). Design Guidelines For Active Michigan Communities: Imagining, Creating, and Improving Communities for Physical Activity, Active Living, and Recreation (p. 98). Michigan Department of Community Health.