South Asian people like to exercise in social groups, study finds

(Medical Xpress)—A study by Stirling's Dr Ruth Jepson has determined that South Asian people in the UK will be more likely to exercise if it can be done as part of a group and has a social element.

People of South Asian backgrounds living in the UK have a five-fold increased risk of diabetes and a two-fold increased risk of heart disease by comparison with the general population.  However they are less likely to exercise than the general population.

As physical activity can reduce the risk of from a range of conditions, Dr Jepson's study explored the likely which might encourage South Asian adults to exercise and improve their health.

Dr Jepson says: "The idea of exercising your way to better health is not a message which motivates most Asian adults. They want exercise to have an element of , of having fun with family or friends.  They also need local or national role models.

"We found that South Asian men like football and the gym, while women like walking and swimming. But men are traditionally employed in shops where they work long hours so they find it difficult to find the time to exercise - they want to spend what little spare time they have with their families.

"Previous studies have never really looked at what might motivate women to take . There are no for South Asian women, no female Muslim athletes in the UK to encourage them to go out and exercise. But we found that they would go swimming or to the gym if they could do it as a way of socialising in a group."

Dr Jepson concludes: "Many South Asian adults don't often do things individually. If we are to encourage them to exercise their way to better health, then we must take account of the of their lives, which often revolve around the Mosque, the home and the family. "

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Aerobic exercise may reduce the risk of dementia

Sep 07, 2011

Any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and slow the condition's progression once it starts, reported a Mayo Clinic study published this month in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Researchers examined ...

South Asian Canadians failing to get exercise message

Oct 25, 2009

Exercise is a wonderful way of boosting heart health, but it's proving to be a tough sell in Ontario South Asian communities, Dr. Milan Gupta told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2009, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke ...

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

Dec 19, 2014

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

Dec 19, 2014

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.