Redesign, Field-Testing, and Validation of the Physical Activity Campus Environmental Supports (PACES) Audit

Tanya M. Horacek, Elif Dede Yildirim, Dean Seidman, Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Sarah Colby, Adrienne A. White, Karla P. Shelnutt, Melissa D. Olfert, Anne E. Mathews, Kristin Riggsbee, Lisa Franzen-Castle, Jesse Stabile Morrell, Kendra Kattelmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper describes the redesign, field-testing, and convergent validity of a practical tool - Physical Activity Campus Environmental Supports (PACES) audit. Methods. The audit includes two parts: (1) PACES-Programs, which is comprised of questions regarding populations served, fees, programs (recreation/fitness classes and intramurals), proximity, adequacy of facilities, and marketing, and (2) PACES-Facilities, which is comprised of questions regarding built environment (aesthetics, bike racks, stairs, and universal design), recreation equipment, staff, amenities, and access. Each item criterion is specifically scored using a five-point, semantic-differential scale ranging from limited to extensive environmental support. A few questions utilize select all that apply for a summed score. PACES training, interrater reliability, and data collection are all accessible via an online portal. PACES was tested on 76 college campuses. Convergent validity was examined by comparing the PACES-Programs questions to Healthy Campus Initiatives-Programs questions (HCI-Programs) and comparing the PACES-Facilities questions to questions contained in the Physical Activity Resource Assessment (PARA) Instrument. Statistical analyses included Cronbach's alpha, ANOVA, latent profile analysis, and Spearman correlations. Results. The PACES-Programs audit includes 10 items for a potential total of 73 points (α = 0.72) and PACES-Facilities audit includes 15 items for a potential total of 77 points (α = 0.837). Most (77.8%) of the 153 facilities assessed scored in the most healthful range (20-42), which was mainly due to the extensiveness of the aerobic equipment/amenities and the competence/accessibility of staff. Significant differences in PACES-Total and PACES-Programs scores were associated with campus size and PACES-Facilities across regions. For the paired validation assessments, correlations were significant between PACES-Programs and HCI-Programs ((n=41) r=0.498, p<0.001) and PACES-Facilities and PARA (n=29) for both features (r=0.417, p=0.024) and amenities (r=0.612, p<0.001), indicating moderate convergent validity. Conclusion. The PACES audit is a valid, reliable tool for assessing the quality of recreation facilities and programs in a variety of college campus environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5819752
JournalJournal of Environmental and Public Health
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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