Feasibility of multi-sector policy measures that create activity-friendly environments for children: results of a Delphi study

Marie-Jeanne Aarts*, Albertine J. Schuit, Ien A. M. van de Goor, Hans A. M. van Oers

*Corresponding author for this work

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Although multi-sector policy is a promising strategy to create environments that stimulate physical activity among children, little is known about the feasibility of such a multi-sector policy approach. The aims of this study were: to identify a set of tangible (multi-sector) policy measures at the local level that address environmental characteristics related to physical activity among children; and to assess the feasibility of these measures, as perceived by local policy makers.In four Dutch municipalities, a Delphi study was conducted among local policy makers of different policy sectors (public health, sports, youth and education, spatial planning/public space, traffic and transportation, and safety). In the first Delphi round, respondents generated a list of possible policy measures addressing three environmental correlates of physical activity among children (social cohesion, accessibility of facilities, and traffic safety). In the second Delphi round, policy makers weighted different feasibility aspects (political feasibility, cultural/community acceptability, technical feasibility, cost feasibility, and legal feasibility) and assessed the feasibility of the policy measures derived from the first round. The third Delphi round was aimed at reaching consensus by feedback of group results. Finally, one overall feasibility score was calculated for each policy measure.Cultural/community acceptability, political feasibility, and cost feasibility were considered most important feasibility aspects. The Delphi studies yielded 16 feasible policy measures aimed at physical and social environmental correlates of physical activity among children. Less drastic policy measures were considered more feasible, whereas environmental policy measures were considered less feasible.This study showed that the Delphi technique can be a useful tool in reaching consensus about feasible multi-sector policy measures. The study yielded several feasible policy measures aimed at physical and social environmental correlates of physical activity among children and can assist local policy makers in designing multi-sector policies aimed at an activity-friendly environment for children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128
JournalImplementation science
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2011

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