Physical activity participation and the risk of chronic diseases among South Asian adults: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis

Susan Paudel, Alice J. Owen, Ebenezer Owusu-Addo, Ben J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


METHODS: Nine electronic databases including Medline, PsycINFO, Embase, CENTRAL, CINAHL Plus, AgeLine, SPORTDiscus, Scopus and Web of Science will be systematically searched for papers reporting the association between physical activity and selected chronic diseases (type 2 diabetes mellitus, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, vascular diseases and musculoskeletal diseases (osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, back and neck pain)) and their markers using predefined search terms. Searches will be limited to peer-reviewed, English language papers with a quantitative design. In addition, a manual search of references of relevant systematic reviews as well as citations and references of eligible studies will also be carried out. The methodological appraisal will be performed using the National Institutes of Health quality assessment checklist for observational studies and the Effective Public Health Practice Project quality assessment tool for intervention studies. The overall quality of evidence for the study outcomes across the study designs will be assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework. The review results will be presented in the form of narrative synthesis, and a random effects meta-analysis is planned depending on the nature of included studies and available data.

DISCUSSION: This review will summarise the strength of the association between physical activity and selected chronic diseases and their markers among South Asian adults 40 years or older. The findings will provide an evidence base to guide public health policy and interventions in the South Asian region and to inform future research to address the rising burden of chronic diseases.


BACKGROUND: Chronic diseases contribute to about half of the adult disease burden in the South Asian region. Meanwhile, physical activity levels are declining despite the global evidence of its role in the prevention of chronic diseases. While there are a plethora of systematic reviews on the effects of physical activity on chronic diseases, there has not yet been a synthesis of the evidence concerning the nature of this relationship among people living in South Asian countries incorporating multiple chronic diseases and a focus on physical activity domains. The aim of this protocol is to describe the rationale and methods for a systematic review of published research to identify the association between physical activity and selected chronic diseases and their markers and analysis of the strength of association with a focus on physical activity domains among South Asian adults 40 years and older.

Original languageEnglish
Article number177
Number of pages7
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2018


  • Adults
  • Chronic diseases
  • Physical activity
  • South Asia
  • Systematic review

Cite this