Friday, February 10, 2012

Feeling the HEAT

For those of you who looking for a way to quantify the health benefits of walking or cycling (probably many of you, given the growing push for "measurable" results from new programs or projects), the WHO's online tool HEAT (the Health Economic Assessment Tool) can help you "conduct an economic assessment of the health benefits of walking or cycling by estimating the value of reduced mortality that results from specified amounts of walking or cycling."

HEAT is available here. To use it you'll need to provide:
  • An estimate of how many people are walking or cycling. 
  • An estimate of the average duration spent walking or cycling in the study population
  • Mortality rate
  • Value of a statistical life
  • Time period over which you wish average benefits to be calculated
  • A discount rate, if desired
While HEAT was primarily developed for European use, you can take a look at how some researchers in the US modified it for their use in this study.

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