Resources for Researchers


Below is a growing  list of links to measures and instruments that can be used to quantify environmental characteristics related to lifestyle behaviours and health in adults. Please let us know if you have suggestions for additional resources.




  • Quality of Public Open Space Tool (POST) and Android app. Description, manual and reliability study can be found here, information and development of app here. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

  • Systematic Pedestrian and Cycling Environmental Scan (SPACES). Description and reliability study here, instrument is available through the authors upon request.
  • The SPOTLIGHT Virtual Audit Tool. A Google Streets based tool to measure the food and physical activity environment. Link to validation study and standard operating procedures.
  • The Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes (MAPS) tool: to characterize 'microscale' characteristics of built environment related to walking. More details here and here
  • Environmental profile of a Community's health (EPOCH): An instrument to measure environmental determinants of cardiovascular health. Instrument and validity/reliability outcomes here.
  • The Forty Area STudy street VIEW (FASTVIEW). Street audit tool using Google Streets to measure environmental supportiveness for physical activity. More details here.
  • Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Stores (NEMS-S): Description and reliability testing here ($).
  • Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Restaurants (NEMS-R): Description and reliability testing here ($). 
  • Methodological considerations and proposed checklist to measure Retail Food Environment (RFEI) - link to study.


  • ESRI ArcGIS, for mapping and analysing geodata, used broadly across fields. A license is necessary. More details here.
  • Quantum GIS (QGIS) is an open source package to convert data to spatial data and make spatial calculations. More details here
  • GeoDMS BAG-geocoding tool, more details and download here.
  • Geoda is an open source package that can perform statistical analyses on geodata. More details here.
  • Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) is an open source package to manage and analyse geospatial data. More details and download here
  • PostGIS, more details and download here

GIS sources

  • Spatial Data Portal, Geoplaza, of the VU. Spatial data collection of the Netherlands. More information here.
  • Locatus, commercial retail data of the Benelux. More details here.
  • A wide range of GIS data for the Netherlands is available via GECCO link.


  • The ALPHA environmental questionnaire (physical activity) - link to the questionnaire in multiple languages, manual and validation studie.
  • Questionnaire from the MESA neighborhood study. More details here
  • Neighborhood Environment Walkability Survey (NEWS) - link to questionnaire (related to physical activity), manual and validation studies.
  • Self-Reported neighborhood characteristics - link to questionnaire and validation study.
  • Worksite and Energy Balance Survey (WEBS) - link to design paper.



  • Checklist for Health Environments at Work (CHEW), was developed to assess workplace environment attributes. This measure assessed three scales of physical activity environments: the building itself, the grounds around the building, and the surrounding neighborhood. The development and measurement properties are reported here.
  • The worksite environment measure (WEM instrument) - A measure of the worksite environment for food, physical activity and weight management. Description and reliability outcomes here.



  • The Migrant Obesogenic Perception of the Environment questionnaire (MOPE-Q). The MOPE-Q and its measurement properties is described here. It can be adapted and applied to various environments and populations to help explain changes in diet, physical activity patterns and body weight in migrant groups as they acculturate.
  • International physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ). Validity study here.
  • Algorithm to identify waking time in 24-hour activPAL data. More information and manual here.