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Q&A

Q: Why was the AFI program created?

ACSM created the AFI Data Report to help communities identify opportunities to improve the health of their residents and expand community assets to better support active, healthy lifestyles. The overall goal of the AFI Data Report is to provide data to the 50 largest MSAs to promote active lifestyles by supporting and informing local programs to develop a sustainable, healthy community culture.

Q: What does the AFI Data Report® measure?

The AFI Data Report reflects a composite of community indicators for preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, as well as community supporters and policies for physical activity. In addition, demographic and economic diversity are included for each metropolitan area to illustrate the unique attributes of each city. A complete breakdown of the data is available in the data report.

Q: How were the data elements used in the report decided upon?

The first step in creating the AFI Data Report involved developing a strategy to gather, analyze and present metro-level population, health, and built environment data. Data were identified, assessed and scored by a national expert panel for inclusion. Elements included in the data report must:

  • Be related to the level of health status and/or physical activity for a community;
  • Have recently been measured and reported by a well-respected agency or organization at the metropolitan level; and
  • Be modifiable through community effort (for example, "smoking rate" is included, but "climate" is not).

    In addition, the selected data sources must provide recent data and have an established history of appropriately collecting and disseminating the data.

    Q: A new indicator was added to the 2015 AFI Data Report. What was that indicator? Why was it chosen?

    The new indicator was "Percent within a 10 minute walk to a park". This was a newly available measure that directly relates to the access to safe, convenient and affordable places for residents to be physically active. This measure was added to the community and environmental indicators.

    Q: Why is my community not included in the report?

    The AFI Data Report ranks and scores the 50 largest MSAs in the United States. At this time, the program does not have definitive plans to measure additional MSAs in future versions of the report. All cities can use the resources provided by AFI to improve their community's health and fitness. While the AFI Data Report provides detailed information for cities at the MSA level, the My AFI community application tool integrates the components of the AFI program into a health promotion approach that can be used by other communities not included in the AFI Data Report. Using this tool, leaders can understand the individual, societal and behavioral factors related to physical activity in their own community and implement culturally focused activities that are meaningful to their residents.
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