Economic evaluation of Living Streets’ fitter for walking project
Sinnett, D. and Powell, J. and British Heart Foundation Centre for Physical Activity and Health (2012) Economic evaluation of Living Streets’ fitter for walking project. Project Report. University of Loughborough, Loughborough.
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Living Streets’ Fitter for Walking (FFW) project worked with deprived communities in 12 Local Authority areas across five regions of England to improve local environments and promote more walking for short journeys. This study uses the Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for walking to estimate the benefit to cost ratios (BCRs) of improvements to the walking environment using data collected from five communities (Marks Gate, London; Byker Link, Newcastle; Taylor Street, Blackburn; Weddell Wynd, Wolverhampton and Cliff Hills, Rotherham) as part of Living Streets’ Fitter for Walking project. Significantly, these FFW projects have been instigated in less affluent areas where the challenge of improved walking environment is greatest. Taking into account limitations presented by the methodological challenges of estimating cost-effectiveness for the FFW projects, it was found they are generally likely to result in significant financial savings from decreased mortality as a result of an increased number of people walking. The BCRs are positive at between 0.9 and 46:1 for all the FFW interventions using at least one measure of walking level (duration or distance), with the exception of Marks Gate. These BCRs are likely to be conservative as they do not take into account health and wellbeing morbidity effects and social benefits. These benefits are important within the FFW programme, but cannot be measured easily.