Physical Activity Guidelines For East Indians

Regular readers will recall that the global obesity epidemic is alive and kicking in India.

Now, a Consensus Statement led by my colleague Anoop Misra, published in Diabetes, Technology and Therapeutics, outlines physical activity recommendations for Indians.

Based on considerable data that urban Indians tend to be even less active than white caucasians, a factor that may in part explain Indians’ greater risk for abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic problems, the recommendations go beyond the rather modest recommendation recently released for Canadians.

According to Misra and colleagues:

“A total of 60 min of physical activity is recommended every day for healthy Asian Indians in view of the high predisposition to develop T2DM and CHD. This should include at least 30 min of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 15 min of work-related activity, and 15 min of muscle-strengthening exercises. For children, moderate-intensity physical activity for 60 min daily should be in the form of sport and physical activity.”

The Statement also includes physical activity guidelines for pregnant women, the elderly, and those suffering from obesity, T2DM, CHD, etc.

The authors anticipate that application of these guidelines is likely to have a significant impact on the prevalence and management of obesity, the metabolic syndrome, T2DM, and CHD in Asian Indians.

Whether, these guidelines will actually be implemented by enough individuals to impact population health will remain to be seen – at least, they do provide a framework upon which to bring up the topic of physical activity with your Indian patients.

Edmonton, Alberta

Misra A, Nigam P, Hills AP, Chadha DS, Sharma V, Deepak KK, Vikram NK, Joshi S, Chauchan A, Khanna K, Sharma R, Mittal K, Passi SJ, Seth V, Puri S, Devi R, Dubey AP, & Gupta For The Physical Activity Consensus Group S (2011). Consensus Physical Activity Guidelines for Asian Indians. Diabetes technology & therapeutics PMID: 21988275