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Tools You Can Use: Reducing the Cost of Inactivity. Natalie Clifton, M.Ed., CHES Physical Activity Coordinator Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention Program Texas Department of State Health Services. Tools To Make The Case. The Active Choice Should Be T he

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Tools You Can Use: Reducing the Cost of Inactivity

Natalie Clifton, M.Ed., CHES

Physical Activity Coordinator

Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention Program

Texas Department of State Health Services

tools to make the case
Tools To Make The Case

The Active Choice Should Be The

Easy Choice At Work!

  • Bikeability
  • Walkability
  • Cost of Inactivity
  • ROI
  • Cost of Obesity
  • Employee Tools
what is prevention

A systematic process that promotes healthy behaviors and environments and reduces the likelihood or frequency of an incident, condition, or illness occurring.

What is Prevention?

What is Primary Prevention?

taking action before the onset of symptoms

the spectrum of prevention
The Spectrum of Prevention

Public Health Responsibility

Influencing Policy & Legislation

Changing Organizational Practices

Fostering Coalitions & Networks

Educating Providers

Promoting Community Education

Strengthening Individual Knowledge & Skills

  • Policy – laws, regulations, formal and informal rules and understandings that are adopted on a collective basis to guide individual and collective behavior
  • Environmental change – something that alters or controls the legal, social, economic, and physical environment affecting health
what p e change is not
What P&E Change is Not…

Health fairs






the four p s

can be quick starting,

low overhead, locally driven.

require money and impact individuals

Point of Decision Prompts:

reminders for health

can be easy to install

Are sometimes ignored


the built environment

strongly shapes behavior

cost money


create permanent change

change the social norm

require careful consideration

The Four P’s
physical activity what works
Physical Activity: What Works?

Create or enhance access to places to be physically active:

  • Building walking trails
  • Providing public access to school gymnasiums, playgrounds, or community centers.
  • Interventions to improve access should also include outreach that increases awareness of the opportunity to be active.
  • Worksite activity programs that provide access to onsite or offsite fitness rooms, walking breaks, or other opportunities to engage in physical activity.
alternative transportation
Alternative Transportation

"Alternative transportation" modes are telecommuting, carpools, vanpools, public transportation, bicycling, walking, and running.

These commute methods are relevant to employee health in two ways:

  • A reduction in the use of single-occupancy vehicles helps reduce environmental fuel emissions.
  • Employees who use "active transport" (public transportation, bicycling, and walking) to commute to work may increase their daily physical activity.
economic benefits of active transportation
Economic benefits of Active Transportation :
  • Increased productivity and a reduction of sick days and injuries at the workplace
  • Reduction in road construction, repair and maintenance costs
  • Reduction in costs due to greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduction in health care costs due to increased physical activity

and reduced respiratory and cardiac disease

  • Reduction in fuel, repair and maintenance costs to users
  • Reduction of costs due to increased road safety
  • Reduction in external costs of traffic congestion
  • Reduction in parking subsidies
  • Reduction of costs of air pollution
  • Reduction of costs of water pollution
  • Positive impact of bicycle tourism
  • Positive impact of bicycle sales and manufacturing
  • Increased property value along trails

Economic Values Fact Sheet:

the benefit cost analysis of bicycle facilities
The Benefit-Cost analysis of Bicycle Facilities

commuting expense calculator
Commuting Expense Calculator
  • Calculates commuting costs

cyclefriendly employer
CycleFriendly Employer
  • Cycle-friendly Employer Case Studies
  • Employer Guide, Resources, Checklist
active living research
Active Living Research
  • Multi-use trails are associated with increases in walking and bicycling, especially in urban areas and among lower income populations.
  • Sidewalks and bicycle lanes promote physical activity.
  • Public transit use is linked with higher levels of

physical activity and lower rates of obesity.

  • Walking or biking to school can help kids be more

active overall.

a walkable community
A Walkable Community
  • Environment: Cars may be a leading cause of climate change. Your feet are zero-pollution transportation machines.
  • Health:The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs 6-10 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood.
  • Communities:Studies show that for every 10 minutes a person spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10%.
walkscore com
  • What's your Walk Score?
  • Get a Commute Report
  • Explore Your Neighborhood
  • 90–100 Walker's Paradise — Daily errands do not require a car.
  • 70–89 Very Walkable — Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
  • 50–69 Somewhat Walkable — Some amenities within walking distance.
  • 25–49 Car-Dependent — A few amenities within walking distance.
  • 0–24 Car-Dependent — Almost all errands require a car.
worksite walkability audit tool
Worksite Walkability Audit Tool

quantifying the cost of physical inactivity
Quantifying the Cost of Physical Inactivity
  • Developed by East Carolina University’s Department of Health Education and Promotion
  • Provides an estimate of the financial cost of physically inactive people to a particular community, city, state or business.
return on investment calculator
Return on Investment Calculator
  • Three ROI calculators that look at:
    • Changes in health care costs
    • Absenteeism
    • Presenteeism

obesity cost calculator
Obesity Cost Calculator
  • Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
  • An application for the workplace

realage com
  • Sixty five Health Tests and Tools
  • Health Assessment and Personalized Plan
activity zone
Activity Zone

Please list biking “destinations” within

0-4 miles of your residence or work place

Name Distance

􀂆 School____________________________

􀂆 Grocery store _______________________

􀂆 Convenience store ____________________

􀂆 Retail shops ________________________

􀂆 Retail shops ________________________

􀂆 Recreation facility ____________________

􀂆 Dining ____________________________

􀂆 Dining ____________________________

􀂆 Dining ____________________________

􀂆 Parks _____________________________

􀂆 Parks _____________________________

􀂆 Library ___________________________

􀂆 Church ___________________________

􀂆 Other ____________________________

􀂆 Other ________________________ ____

Please list walking “destinations” within

0-2 miles of your residence or work place

Name Distance

􀂆 School __________________________________

􀂆 Grocery store _____________________________

􀂆 Convenience store __________________________

􀂆 Retail shops ______________________________

􀂆 Retail shops ______________________________

􀂆 Recreation facility __________________________

􀂆 Dining __________________________________

􀂆 Dining __________________________________

􀂆 Dining __________________________________

􀂆 Parks ___________________________________

􀂆 Parks ___________________________________

􀂆 Library __________________________________

􀂆 Church __________________________________

􀂆 Other ___________________________________

􀂆 Other ___________________________________

making the case
Making the Case

Benefits of Active Living to Employers:

Next Steps:

Share reports and data with leadership.

Engage stakeholders & start the conversation.

Prioritize needs and wants.

  • A more productive workforce & cost savings
    • Lower major medical & disability costs
    • Reduced Absenteeism
    • More Engaged Workers
more resources
More Resources
  • Active Living Research:
  • National Society of Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health (NSPAPPH):
  • CDC Healthier Worksite Initiative:


Thank you!


Natalie Clifton, M.Ed., CHES

Texas Department of State Health Services

Nutrition, Physical Activity & Obesity Prevention 

Tower Building 406 / Mail Code 1944

PO Box 149347 

Austin, Texas 78714

P 512-776-3447

F 512-458-7618