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Is daily walking when living in the Paralympic village different to the typical home environment?
  1. Brendan Burkett
  1. Correspondence to Professor Brendan Burkett, School of Health and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Science, Health and Education, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC, Queensland 4558, Australia; bburkett{at}


Background Life within the Paralympic village is exciting, and the preparation for competition of upmost importance. Due to the shear geographic size of the Paralympic village and associated competition venues, the amount of incidental walking could be different to an athlete's home environment, and any extra walking could potentially diminish athletic performance.

Objectives To quantify the change (if any) in the amount of daily walking an athlete does during a typical day at home, when compared with when they are preparing for competition and competing.

Methods The total number of steps per day was quantified using calibrated pedometers for 31 participants in four environments: at home, within a home-based national training camp, while abroad for an international training camp and when in the Paralympic village.

Results There was a significant change in the daily step count with an average increase of 947 steps (or 13%) while in the national training camp, an increase of 3488 steps (or 53%) when in the international camp and an increase of 5472 steps (or 83%) when in the Paralympic village.

Conclusion To enable the maximum possible sporting performance at the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond, athletes should monitor their incidental walking and adjust levels of activity accordingly. The layout and design of the Olympic and Paralympic village should consider the significant increase in incidental walking and provide improved mechanisms to avoid this unwanted issue.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the University of the Sunshine Coast Human Ethics committee.

  • Patient consent Obtained.