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© 2018 The Royal Society for Public Health Objectives: To identify interventions aimed at increasing physical activity (PA) levels among South Asian (SA) adults and identify the specific changes in the content and delivery mode of interventions designed to increase PA levels among SA people aged ≥18 years. Design: A systematic review of quantitative studies. Data synthesis: Extracted data were synthesized using a narrative approach. Data sources: ASSIA, CINHAL, EMBASE, Medline, SPORTDiscus and PsychINFO were searched. Included articles met the following criteria: (1) population: community-dwelling SA adults aged ≥18 years and (2) outcome: reporting determinants of PA, exercise, or a combination of the two, measured objectively or using self-report. The search was restricted to articles published in the English language up to 31 January 2017. Results: Fifteen trials/programmes (16 articles) met the review criteria. The findings show that involving the target community in developing culturally appropriate interventions appears to be important in their acceptability, delivery and uptake. Using community-based participation in intervention planning, evaluation and research appears to produce culturally and linguistically tailored interventions that address core values, attitudes, beliefs and norms, and encourage participation in PA. Furthermore, the use of community health workers and underpinning the interventions with a psychological theory show promise in increasing PA uptake. Conclusions: This systematic review suggests that making cultural adaptations to PA interventions shows promise, but the evidence base presented is not strong. This does not mean that adopting such an approach is ineffective but that the evidence base is currently lacking.

Original publication




Journal article


Public Health

Publication Date





71 - 81