Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Several criteria establish the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, including high waist circumference, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides and glucose and above normal blood pressure. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome is on the rise following the rise in obesity across the globe. Qatar, a country in the Arabian Peninsula shares the burden of obesity with recent studies showing prevalences of'---61% among women and —39% among men. These studies found that metabolic syndrome is more common among women. Physical activity helps reduce visceral obesity, controls glucose levels, and improves blood pressure, triglyceride, and HDL cholesterol levels. One way of increasing physical activity is by promoting nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT represents 10% of daily human energy expenditure and is expended during daily life activities like mowing the lawn or climbing stairs. A lifestyle intervention study was conducted with 200 Qatari subjects identified with metabolic syndrome. The study was approved by the research committee at Hamad Medical Hospital in Doha, Qatar. The study aimed to reduce the number of components of metabolic syndrome in men and women with metabolic syndrome treated at the diabetes and endocrinology department by promoting increased NEAT. In a randomized clinical trial lasting one year the intervention group received general exercise and dietary guidelines in addition to information on how to increase their daily NEAT, while the control group received solely the general exercise and dietary guidelines. Subjects in the intervention group were asked to incorporate NEAT by modifying their work environment, and daily habits such as going shopping, standing instead of sitting, and walking instead of using the car. Text message reminders were sent to the intervention group at two, four, eight, and 10 months. Body weight, waist circumference as a measure of visceral obesity, blood pressure, glucose level and lipid profile were assessed at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year in both groups. Archival data obtained through this study were analyzed after gaining permission from the Loma Linda University Institutional Review Board. After 1 year 52 intervention and 55 control subjects completed the study. The results revealed no statistically significant differences in metabolic syndrome components between the two randomized groups. Additionally analysis of subgroups including those on anti-diabetic medication versus those not taking such medication revealed no differences between the intervention and control groups. The amount of recommended NEAT activity appears to have been too small to influence study outcomes. Future studies in similar populations may need to consider the high dropout rate, and use of incentives or culturally appropriate interventions to increase compliance and retention.


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Serena Tonstad

Second Advisor

Hildemar Dos Santos

Third Advisor

Olivia Moses

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Metabolic Syndrome X -- prevention and control; Exercise -- physiology; Physical Fitness -- physiology; Energy Metabolism; Health Behavior; Life Style.



Page Count

viii; 87

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives