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., Shimizu, Y., and Kidokoro, T. (In Press). Sports mega-event legacies and adult physical activity: a systematic literature review and research agenda. European Journal of Sport Science.

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.