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South Asians Need More Exercise than Europeans

Update Date: Dec 12, 2013 12:00 PM EST

Any kind of physical activity can be beneficial for the body. Studies have found that exercise in combination with healthy eating can improve quality of life and reduce risks of health conditions and diseases. In a new study, researchers are reporting that men of South Asian origin need to exercise more than men from Europe in order to achieve the same benefits from exercise.

For this study, the researchers from the University of Glasgow's Institute for Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences recruited 75 South Asian and 83 European men who were between the ages of 40 and 70. The researchers measured their physical activity levels with the help of motion sensing devices over the span of one week. The participant's risks of heart disease and diabetes were also monitored.

The researchers discovered the South Asian men needed more exercise than European men in order to reap the benefits of physical activity. The team calculated that South Asian men need roughly 20 minutes more than Europeans. Current recommendations suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per week. Based on the comparison between the two groups in this study, researchers found that South Asian men needed around 250 minutes of exercise per week to achieve the same results as European men.

"Earlier this year the National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) recommended that Asians need to achieve lower levels of body mass index (BMI) than Europeans for prevention of diabetes, challenging the notion that a BMI threshold of 30 kg.m-2 for obesity is appropriate for all ethnic groups. Our findings extend the concept of ethnicity-specific public health guidance to the domain of physical activity." Dr. Jason Gill, from the University of Glasgow's Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences and lead investigator, said according to Medical Xpress.

Gill worked with Dr. Carlos Celis-Morales, Dr. Nazim Ghouri, Dr. Mark Bailey and Professor Naveed Sattar. The study was published in PLOS ONE.

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