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Leveraging Tokyo 2020

I am currently leading a project to investigate the potential for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to change middle-aged and older-adult behavioral intentions for physical activity. This mixed methods study will run for two years and collect baseline data from across Japan concerning physical activity participation, behavioral intentions and environmental conditions that potentially facilitate or constrain activity in major urban centers. The study will also involve environmental audits of international Olympic venues and assessments of legacy outcomes associated with hosting the Games.

A systematic review has been conducted concerning the potential for sports mega events to change behavior across the globe. An international Delphi study is also underway to garner expert consensus regarding the challenges and opportunities for leveraging the Games for an Olympic effect in the area of health and physical activity.​ Early work on this project has also been reported in an oral presentation at ECSS 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. Read my latest papers related to this project: 

Annear, M., Sato, S., Kidokoro, T., & Shimizu, Y. (2022). Can international sports mega events be considered physical activity interventions? A systematic review and quality assessment of large-scale population studies. Sport in Society, 25(4), 712-729.


Annear, M., Shimizu, Y., Kidokoro, T., & McLaughlan, R. (2021). Constructing legacy: walking audits of the leisure time physical activity potential of Tokyo Olympic venues and their urban milieu. Annals of Leisure Research, 25(1), 1-25.


Annear, M., Kidokoro, T., & Shimizu, Y. (2021). Existential threats to the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games? a review of emerging environmental health risks. Reviews on Environmental Health, 36(2), 159-66.

Annear, M., Shimizu, Y., & Kidokoro, T. (2021). Physical activity legacies and the Olympic Games: A Delphi consensus study of contemporary challenges and opportunities. 運動とスポーツの科学, 26(2), 87-101.

Annear, M. (2017). Leveraging Tokyo 2020: can the Olympic Games activate older Japanese and compress morbidity in later life? Geriatrics and Gerontology. 17(12): 2634-35. DOI: 10.1111/ggi.13136

Please contact me if you would like more information about this study or for possible research collaboration opportunities.


Paralympians model positive physical activity behavior for an inactive society. Evidence suggests that the public find paralympians inspiring and perceive a lower competence gap when thinking about their own capacity for increasing activity.

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