Isaac Warbrick. Ngati Rangitihi, Ngati Te Ata, and Nga Puhi.

Postdoctoral fellow and researcher

Exercise and diet can have an effect on not just how we feel, or what we weigh, but our very lifespan. Even in New Zealand, people are dying at an early age and suffering unnecessary health problems. Isaac Warbrick is hoping to change all that.

It’s not about the kilograms lost or cutting out a favourite fast food – he’s figuring out how to change attitudes and tailor exercise to individual needs. He’s taken on the challenge to help create longer and healthier lives for our future generations.

Science was one of Dr Warbrick’s favourite subjects at school, and he also loved playing sport.

Putting the two together, he studied Sport and Exercise in Hawaii before returning to New Zealand where he completed his PhD at Massey in Palmerston North.

It’s a well-known fact that more exercise will lead to a healthy and happy life, but Dr Warbrick doesn’t believe there is a mould that fits everyone. And that’s where his latest research project comes in.

The three-year study involves 45 Māori men who are currently deemed as being at-risk according to public health standards. The aim is to change Māori men’s perception of exercise and enhance their quality of life and the lives of their whanau.

Dr Warbrick has always been interested in preventative health, and this study will explore how physical activity can be a tool to improve physical health and overall wellbeing.

Eventually he plans to broaden his study to Māori women and other cultures within New Zealand, and overseas, to ensure everyone has the best quality of life without the unnecessary health problems caused by an unhealthy attitude towards exercise.

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