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This study evaluated a new tool, “The Audit of Physical Activity Resources for Seniors” (APARS), which assesses the physical activity environment in Senior Living Residences (SLRs). Audits were conducted in 29 SLRs and inter-rater reliability was assessed. Pearson correlations were examined between APARS items and objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time, and self-rated health, collected from residents at a subset of 12 SLRs (N = 147). Eighty-nine of the 90 items (98.9%) demonstrated Kappa or ICC values above .70 and/or percent agreement above 80%. The 90 items were summarized into nine scales. Two scales (outside supportive physical activity features/functionality and outside exercise facilities) were related to greater physical activity and less sedentary time. Four scales (inside social facilities, onsite services, exercise programs, and social activities) were related to greater sedentary time and better self-rated health. APARS items demonstrated adequate inter-rater reliability and some evidence for construct validity to assess health-related environments in retirement facilities. Social activities in SLRs could benefit residents by incorporating more physical activity. Use of APARS could inform more health-promoting designs of senior living facilities.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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