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N Z Med J. 1996 Oct 11;109(1031):373-6.

A pilot diabetes awareness and exercise programme in a multiethnic workforce.

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  • 1University of Auckland, South Auckland Academic Division, School of Medicine, Middlemore Hospital.



To evaluate the acceptability and impact of a pilot diabetes awareness and exercise programme in a mainly Polynesian workforce.


Comparison of change in questionnaire and anthropometric measurements in two hospital ancillary workforces. One group (n = 108) received one community diabetes educator presentation, one video presentation and a 4 month exercise programme. The other group (n = 99) served as controls.


Baseline diabetes knowledge was poor (total score 26 (SD 13%)) and subjects were largely unfit with a high body mass index (31.5 (7.1) kg/m2). The exercise sessions were well attended, although attendance declined over the 4 months. Increased diabetes knowledge was retained in the intervention group after 6 months when compared with controls (total score 35(14)% vs 26(12)% respectively, p < 0.001). One month after the termination of the programme, the proportion reporting regular exercise activity (at least 30 minutes for 3 days per week) had increased by 2% in the intervention group but declined by 9% in the control group (p < 0.05).


Diabetes knowledge and exercise can be increased in unfit subjects by the combination of culturally tailored exercise techniques and community diabetes educator/video presentations.

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