Exercise prevention of health risks: Lessons from the sport science field and potential applications in Qatar

Ahmad Alkhatib, Zsuzsanna Kneffel, Ruben Goebel, Lina Majed

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Rising obesity levels and physical inactivity are major concerns in the 21st century due to their association with several health risks including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Engaging sedentary and obese population in a variety of exercise and physical activity patterns is a well-established approach, but it is often hindered by poor long-term compliance. Perhaps the workplace serves as an ideal location for delivering effective health screening physical activity and exercise intervention strategies, which helps to encourage healthy behaviors. In spite of major cultural and environmental differences, Qatar and the UK seem to share a global concern about the prevalence in sedentary risk factors in the workplace, and university campus workplaces being an ideal example. In a typical UK campus, several cardiovascular risk factors have been identified in both academic and administrators, including increased risk of hypertension and obesity, especially amongst academics. Similar prevalence of those risks have been reported in Qatari university students, a trend that may be similar for university employees in Qatar. Lifestyle interventions in sedentary and high-risk populations, which are based on carefully applied exercise training, and healthy diets within the workplace have proved effective and may provide long terms cardioprotective benefits. For example, addressing the specific adherence barriers, preventing exercise related injuries by applying the basic gait analysis to select the preferred motor behavior for injury predictors and plantar loading patterns and self-selected walking and running speeds among overweight and obese population. Applying biomechanical, physiological, nutritional, and psychological strategies jointly can ensure long-term compliance in obese and high-risk populations. Qatar being the wealthiest nation in the world has unfortunately one of the highest rates of obesity, type-II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and future multifaceted research approaches are needed in Qatari populations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2015
EventInternational Conference on Sports Medicine and Fitness 2015 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 23 Mar 201525 Mar 2015


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