Workshop at the 2015 Active Living Research Annual Conference.
The World Health Organization’s Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) is designed to help users 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. The tool can be used in a number of different situations, for example: 1) when planning a new piece of cycling or walking infrastructure. HEAT attaches a value to the estimated level of cycling or walking when the new infrastructure is in place. This can be compared to the costs of implementing different interventions to produce a benefit–cost ratio (and help to make the case for investment). 2) to value the reduced mortality from past and/or current levels of cycling or walking, such as to a specific workplace, across a city or in a country. It can also be used to illustrate economic consequences from a potential future change in levels of cycling or walking. 3) to provide input into more comprehensive economic appraisal exercises, or prospective health impact assessments. For example, to estimate the mortality benefits from achieving targets to increase cycling or walking, or from the results of an intervention project. The HEAT is evidence-based; built on expert consensus input, and has been built in conjunction with the World Health Organization using transparent evidence-based assumptions. This means it can be used with confidence to conduct economic assessments of walking and cycling interventions. The workshop will explain the basic workings of the HEAT, and then help participants to work through some examples of calculations. Participants with an online laptop or tablet will be able to work through their own examples using the tool at www.heatwalkingcycling.org.