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The Rural Active Living Assessment (RALA) Tools
The RALA Tools assess the physical environment features and amenities, town characteristics, community programs, and policies that can affect physical activity among residents in rural communities. This tool is suitable for both practitioners and researchers. The tools include a RALA Codebook that provides users with a practical and simple guide for implementing the tool in rural communities across the U.S.
The RALA tools include three separate components: 1) Town-Wide (18 town characteristic questions, and inventory of 15 recreational amenities), 2) Program and Policy (20 questions), and 3) Street Segment (28 questions) Assessments. These three assessment instruments are designed to be used together and provide a comprehensive measure addressing many of the unique factors believed to be important to active living in rural communities.
The RALA tools were developed using an evidence-informed framework and substantial input from rural residents, and they were designed to balance the needs of practitioners (e.g., user-friendliness) and researchers (e.g., reliable measures). The modules capture specific physical activity amenities, programs and policies, as well as built environment features. The RALA Codebook provides users with a practical and simple guide for implementing the tool in rural communities across the U.S.
RALA TOOL WEBINAR: Active Living Research hosted a web-based seminar titled Webinar on Active Living in Rural Communities: Measuring Rural Environments for Physical Activity on June 12, 2009. The session explored the extent that modifications to active living theory, methods, and interventions are necessary for use in rural communities, and discussed the three components of the RALA tool. The full webinar presentation, including audio, is available for free. Contact ALR to request a copy of the webinar.