Revising the senior walking environmental assessment tool

Prev Med. 2009 Mar;48(3):247-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.12.008. Epub 2008 Dec 24.


Background: The Senior Walking Environmental Assessment Tool (SWEAT), an instrument for measuring built environmental features associated with physical activity of older adults, was revised to create an easier-to-use tool for use by practitioners and community members.

Methods: Inter-rater and intra-rater reliability of the modified instrument (SWEAT-R) was assessed in Portland, Oregon in 2007. Five trained observers audited street segments in 12 neighborhoods, resulting in 361 pairs of audits, including 63 repeated audits.

Results: Overall, 88% and 75% of items assessed had good or excellent inter-rater and intra-rater reliability, respectively. The revised instrument required less time to complete than the original instrument, while obtaining more information.

Conclusion: SWEAT-R provides easy to gather, reliable data for use in community-based audits of built environment in relation to walking among older adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Environment Design / standards*
  • Humans
  • Observer Variation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Walking*