European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 781–788

The biochemical, physiological and psychological consequences of a “1,000 miles in 1,000 hours” walking challenge

  • M. H. Murphy
  • G. Breslin
  • T. Trinick
  • C. McClean
  • W. Moore
  • E. Duly
  • G. W. Davison
Case Study

DOI: 10.1007/s00421-011-2003-3

Cite this article as:
Murphy, M.H., Breslin, G., Trinick, T. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2012) 112: 781. doi:10.1007/s00421-011-2003-3

Abstract

The combined effects of 42 days of chronic sleep disruption and repeated hourly bouts of physical exertion have not been described. This case study reports the physiological and psychological demands placed on one individual who walked 1 mile in each consecutive hour for a period of 1,000 h (42 days), covering a total distance of 1,000 miles. The participant walked at a mean speed of 1.75 m/s completing each mile in approximately 15 min. Over the course of the challenge, the individual lost 1.6 kg in body weight. Markers of skeletal muscle damage, increased gradually whilst free testosterone levels decreased over the course of the challenge. Stress hormones increased whilst inflammatory markers (CRP) initially rose but then returned towards baseline over the course of the study. Cognitive motor performance measured via reaction time was maintained throughout the 42 days. The participant also displayed mood states typical of an elite athlete at baseline and throughout the challenge. Participation in this novel ‘1,000 mile 1,000 h’ walking challenge evoked considerable physiological stress in a fit, healthy middle-aged participant but did not markedly alter cognitive performance or mood over the 42-day period.

Keywords

WalkingSleep disruptionStress hormonesMuscle damageTestosteroneMoodCognitive motor performance

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. H. Murphy
    • 1
  • G. Breslin
    • 1
  • T. Trinick
    • 2
  • C. McClean
    • 1
  • W. Moore
    • 1
  • E. Duly
    • 2
  • G. W. Davison
    • 1
  1. 1.Sport and Exercise Sciences Research InstituteUniversity of UlsterBelfastUK
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUlster HospitalBelfastUK