HEAT is an online resource to estimate the economic savings resulting from reductions in mortality as a consequence of regular cycling and/or walking. It is based on best available evidence, with parameters that can be adapted to fit specific situations. Default parameters are valid for the European context.
The tool can be used in a number of different situations, for example:
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
HEAT calculates the answer to the following question: if x people cycle or walk y distance on most days, what is the economic value of mortality rate improvements?
The “Health Economic Assessment Tool” (HEAT) has been made available by the World Health Organization and can be found here.
Now there is online training available, roughly once per month, to learn the use of this tool.