Monday, March 31, 2014 - 16:00
UQ research looks at high intensity interval training to treat child obesity.
UQ research looks at high intensity interval training to treat child obesity.

University of Queensland research is investigating if high intensity interval training is an effective treatment to improve health conditions in overweight children and adolescents.

Researchers at the UQ School of Human Movement Studies are seeking overweight Brisbane region children and adolescents aged between seven and 16 to participate in the study.

UQ School of Human Movement Studies PhD student Katrin Dias said obesity was an important issue for children, and avenues for change had to be explored.

“Overweight children and adolescents are at risk of developing the early stages of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, with characteristics including decreased heart and blood vessel function, increased fat surrounding vital organs, altered blood biochemistry and reduced fitness,” Miss Dias said.

“Remaining overweight into adulthood greatly increases the chances of developing chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.”

The study aims to establish whether 28 minutes of high intensity interval training three times each week is an effective treatment or prevention option and if it provides better outcomes than 45 minutes of moderate intensity exercise.

High-intensity interval training involves alternating short periods of intense exercise with less intense exercise in the same session.

Participants will participate in a 12-week exercise training program with two to three sessions each week and attend 10 consultations with a dietitian.

Participants will be tested to measure aerobic fitness, body composition, heart and blood vessel function, blood analysis and dietary analysis before and after the 12-week exercise program.

Testing and supervised exercise training will be conducted at University of Queensland at St Lucia before or after school, with parking provided.

The study is being supervised by Professor Jeff Coombes of the School of Human Movement Studies, Professor Peter Davies of the Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute, Associate Professor Gary Leong of UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience) and Dr Peter Cain of Heart Care Partners.

It is part of a larger project involving the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.

For more information visit the study website at, email Katrin Dias at or phone 07 3346 7767.   

Media: UQ School of Human Movement Studies Marketing and Communications officer Caroline Day, +61 7 3365 6764,; or Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Senior Media and Communications Officer Kirsten O'Leary,  +61 7 3366 3035,