Study to explore how walking can decrease risk of diabetes and heart disease

Overweight males are being encouraged to take part in a study to explore how walking can decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Researchers at Loughborough University want to hear from South Asian and white males aged 18-60, who are non-smokers and who don’t have diabetes or existing heart conditions.

The aim of the research is to understand how walking can improve cardiovascular health and increase blood flow.

As part of the study, participants will be asked to walk on a treadmill, undergo an MRI scan to asses fat around the central organs, ultrasound measurements to measure blood flow and blood samples to measure coronary heart disease risk markers.

Matthew Roberts, a physiology PhD researcher, in the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, said:

“South Asians have a higher than average risk of coronary heart disease compared to white individuals. The reasons for this are unclear, but physical inactivity and/or poor responsiveness to exercise may play a role. Previous research from our laboratory has shown health benefits in both groups from a single walk.

“However, our previous research was conducted in a healthy population. We now wish to quantify the response to exercise in individuals who are at a higher risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the hope that exercise can be utilised as an effective preventative treatment for diabetes.’’

The results of the study will be used as part of a PhD thesis and will be published in medical, nutrition and exercise science journals.

Eligible participants must have a waist circumference of over 90cm for South Asian males, or over 94cm for white males.

For taking part, all participants will receive a comprehensive health report which includes their MRI, ultrasound, blood and fitness data. Travel expenses will also be covered.

The study will take place at the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, Loughborough University and participants will be asked to commit 40 hours of their time over six visits.

To take part or for more information, please contact