South Asian men living in the UK have higher rates of central obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) compared with their white British counterparts. Physical activity (PA) and sedentary time (ST) are important risk factors for the development of T2DM. The purpose of this study was to objectively measure PA, ST, and to explore the factors influencing these behaviours in this high-risk population. A mixed-methods cross-sectional research design was employed, including the quantification of PA and ST using the self-report International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ)-long form and accelerometry in overweight and obese UK South Asian men (n = 54), followed by semi-structured interviews in a purposive sub-sample to explore the factors influencing PA and ST (n = 31). Accelerometer-derived moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and ST were 298.9 ± 186.6 min/week and 551.4 ± 95.0 min/day, respectively. IPAQ-derived MVPA was significantly lower than accelerometer-derived MVPA (p < 0.001). IPAQ-derived ST was significantly higher than accelerometer-derived ST (p < 0.001). Lack of time and family commitments were identified as the main barriers to being more physically active, with group exercise identified as an important facilitator to being more active. A cultural norm of focusing on promoting education over sport participation during childhood was identified as an important factor influencing long-term PA behaviours. Work commitments and predominantly sedentary jobs were identified as the main barriers to reducing ST. Healthcare professionals and researchers need to consider the socio-cultural factors which affect PA engagement in overweight and obese South Asian men living in the UK, to ensure that advice and future interventions are tailored to address the needs of this population.
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