William Sukala

Doctor of Philosophy, (Exercise & Sport Science)
Study Completed: 2011
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The South Pacific Islands resist Diabetes with intense training (Spirit) study

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

In New Zealand, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and associated health problems is very high in Maori and Pacific Islands people. Mr. Sukala’s research was the first to explore the unique cultural issues involved in developing and carrying out a clinical exercise study in obese Polynesian people with type 2 diabetes. The results of his study showed that 16 weeks of high-intensity exercise resulted in large reductions in blood pressure, important increases in cellular-level muscle structures which are known to enhance blood sugar use, and large enhancements in quality of life. Greater health benefits were observed in participants with better attendance. Mr. Sukala’s research highlights the importance of regular exercise for improving health in Maori and Pacific Islands people in New Zealand and reinforces the crucial need for ongoing consultation with religious and cultural leaders in developing novel strategies to enhance large-scale adoption of physical activity habits.

Associate Professor Rachel Page
Professor David Rowlands
Dr Bobby Cheema
Dr Isabelle Lys