EPA National Community Recognition Program
To reach your goals of increasing physical activity among older adults, it is necessary to know where you are starting from. A community assessment helps to identify the status of physical activity involvement among the older adult population and to lay the foundation for developing strategies for reaching your goals. This assessment will also be useful when evaluating the success of various efforts. Numerous measures could be used to access this information:
- The number and types of physical activity programs available for older adults
- Inventory of participation rates among older adults in fitness and recreation centers, health clubs and other facilities and services that promote physical activity, such as worksite programs.
- Health status indicators, such as morbidity and mortality data and health status data
- Resource inventories: human, organizational, institutional, material
- Inventory of outdoor resources: parks, recreation centers, walking/biking trails, etc.
- Environmental surveys outlining pedestrian walkability
Ideally, your group will gather baseline information before taking any action steps. Make specific plans for who will gather what information from whom, and in what time-frame, before starting the analysis.
Internet Resources on Community Assessments
Minnesota Department of Health Community Health Promotion Guide
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Healthy People in Healthy Communities: A Community Planning Guide Using Healthy People 2010
http://www.healthypeople.gov/Publications/HealthyCommunities2001/healthycom01hk.pdf (44 pp, 1.17MB, About PDF)
New York State Department of Health
Ten Steps in Community Health Assessment Development Process
University of Kansas Community Toolbox
National Association of County & City Health Officials
MAPP Field Guide: A Strategic Approach to Community Health Improvement
http://www.uic.edu/sph/prepare/courses/ph420/resources/mappguide.pdf (24 pp, 1.23MB, About PDF)
Walkable America’s Walkability Checklist
(4 pp, 196K, About PDF)