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1.  Exercise intervention in New Zealand Polynesian peoples with type 2 diabetes: Cultural considerations and clinical trial recommendations 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2012;5(8):429-435.
The Maori and Pacific Islands peoples of New Zealand suffer a greater burden of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and associated comorbidities than their European counterparts. Empirical evidence supports the clinical application of aerobic and resistance training for effective diabetes management and potential remission, but few studies have investigated the effectiveness of these interventions in specific ethnic cohorts. We recently conducted the first trial to investigate the effect of prescribed exercise training in Polynesian people with T2DM. This article presents the cultural considerations undertaken to successfully implement the study. The research procedures were accepted and approved by cultural liaisons and potential participants. The approved methodology involved a trial evaluating and comparing the effects of two, 16-week exercise regimens (i.e. aerobic training and resistance training) on glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), related diabetes markers (i.e. insulin resistance, blood lipids, relevant cytokines and anthropometric and hemodynamic indices) and health-related quality of life. Future exercise-related research or implementation strategies in this cohort should focus on cultural awareness and techniques to enhance participation and compliance. Our approach to cultural consultation could be considered by researchers undertaking trials in this and other ethnic populations suffering an extreme burden of T2DM, including indigenous Australians and Americans.
PMCID: PMC3442187  PMID: 23024717
Resistance; Aerobic; Obesity; Maori; Pacific Islands; Polynesia; Ethnic; High-Risk
2.  Fifteen Minutes of Chair-Based Yoga Postures or Guided Meditation Performed in the Office Can Elicit a Relaxation Response 
This study compared acute (15 min) yoga posture and guided meditation practice, performed seated in a typical office workspace, on physiological and psychological markers of stress. Twenty participants (39.6 ± 9.5 yr) completed three conditions: yoga, meditation, and control (i.e., usual work) separated by ≥24 hrs. Yoga and meditation significantly reduced perceived stress versus control, and this effect was maintained postintervention. Yoga increased heart rate while meditation reduced heart rate versus control (P < 0.05). Respiration rate was reduced during yoga and meditation versus control (P < 0.05). Domains of heart rate variability (e.g., SDNN and Total Power) were significantly reduced during control versus yoga and meditation. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reduced secondary to meditation versus control only (P < 0.05). Physiological adaptations generally regressed toward baseline postintervention. In conclusion, yoga postures or meditation performed in the office can acutely improve several physiological and psychological markers of stress. These effects may be at least partially mediated by reduced respiration rate.
PMCID: PMC3265094  PMID: 22291847
3.  Effect of an office worksite-based yoga program on heart rate variability: A randomized controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:578.
Chronic work-related stress is a significant and independent risk factor for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and associated mortality, particularly when compounded by a sedentary work environment. Heart rate variability (HRV) provides an estimate of parasympathetic and sympathetic autonomic control, and can serve as a marker of physiological stress. Hatha yoga is a physically demanding practice that can help to reduce stress; however, time constraints incurred by work and family life may limit participation. The purpose of the present study is to determine if a 10-week, worksite-based yoga program delivered during lunch hour can improve resting HRV and related physical and psychological parameters in sedentary office workers.
Methods and design
This is a parallel-arm RCT that will compare the outcomes of participants assigned to the experimental treatment group (yoga) to those assigned to a no-treatment control group. Participants randomized to the experimental condition will engage in a 10-week yoga program delivered at their place of work. The yoga sessions will be group-based, prescribed three times per week during lunch hour, and will be led by an experienced yoga instructor. The program will involve teaching beginner students safely and progressively over 10 weeks a yoga sequence that incorporates asanas (poses and postures), vinyasa (exercises), pranayama (breathing control) and meditation. The primary outcome of this study is the high frequency (HF) spectral power component of HRV (measured in absolute units; i.e. ms2), a measure of parasympathetic autonomic control. Secondary outcomes include additional frequency and time domains of HRV, and measures of physical functioning and psychological health status. Measures will be collected prior to and following the intervention period, and at 6 months follow-up to determine the effect of intervention withdrawal.
This study will determine the effect of worksite-based yoga practice on HRV and physical and psychological health status. The findings may assist in implementing practical interventions, such as yoga, into the workplace to mitigate stress, enhance health status and reduce the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC3154869  PMID: 21771340
exercise; training; insulin resistance; diabetes; obesity; cytokines

Results 1-3 (3)