Experiences and Perceptions of Physical Activity Among South Asian and Anglo-Australians With Type 2 Diabetes or Cardiovascular Disease: Implications for Clinical Practice

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Abstract

Research indicates that there are worryingly low levels of physical activity among South Asians compared with Anglo-Australians with type 2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease (CVD). We compared perceptions, barriers, and enablers of physical activity in these groups. We used a qualitative design, conducting in-depth, semistructured iterative interviews in Victoria with 57 South Asian and Anglo-Australian participants with either type 2 diabetes or CVD. While both groups exhibited knowledge of the value of physical activity in health maintenance and disease management, they wished for more specific and culturally tailored advice from clinicians about the type, duration, and intensity of physical activity required. Physical activity identities were tied to ethnic identities, with members of each group aspiring to meet the norms of their culture regarding engagement with physical activity as specific exercise or as incidental exercise. Individual personal exercise was deemed important by Anglo-Australians whereas South Asians preferred family-based physical activity.

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