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Investigating the acute effect of alternative forms of physical activity in a multi-ethnic population

What we are doing:

To investigate the effects of yoga on postprandial glucose and insulin control in a multi-ethnic population at risk of type 2 diabetes and to compare these effects against matched continuous exercise and a non-exercise control.

Why we are doing it:

The amount of people with diabetes has now reached over four million in the United Kingdom. Type 2 diabetes accounts for the majority of all cases of diabetes and increases the risk of many other diseases, such as heart problems.

Research has shown that individuals from South Asian descent have elevated risk of certain chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The risk of developing these conditions can be reduced by engaging in a healthy lifestyle. One component of a healthy lifestyle is engaging in physical activity. However, previous research from our group at the Leicester Diabetes Centre has shown that South Asian individuals engage in less physical activity, compared to other ethnicities. It is not yet wholly understood why South Asians engage in less physical activity, but it is vitally important to try to find new ways to increase the physical activity levels of South Asian individuals. Therefore, we have worked with South Asian communities in identifying culturally-appropriate forms of physical activity. From this, yoga and walking were identified as two forms of culturally-appropriate physical activity. This study will test and compare whether yoga and light intensity walking can be effectively used in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. 

What the benefits will be:

The results of this study will help us understand how South Asians and other ethnicities respond to exercise, the therapeutic benefits of yoga and also help to inform future type 2 diabetes prevention programmes within multi-ethnic communities.

Who we are working with:

  • Leicester Diabetes Centre
  • University of Leicester
  • Leicester Biomedical Research Centre


Cameron Razieh