Intense workout programs a HIIT for student health

5 May 2022

Stephanie Duncombe from UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences spoke with Brisbane Times about how high-intensity interval training could be used to improve the health of school children.

A review of more than 40 research papers on the subject found that using the exercise technique had a positive impact on a range of health markers.

Miss Duncombe, lead author of the review said while the findings were not strong enough to encourage HIIT to replace all forms of exercise in schools, they did show good outcomes.

“Compared to control groups, children who took part in HIIT saw improvements in body size and composition, their cardiorespiratory fitness, and blood biomarkers for cardiovascular health,” Duncombe said.

There have been a lot of studies showing the benefits of vigorous physical activity, and HIIT is a way to acquire that vigorous physical activity in quite a short amount of time.

“We did a second analysis comparing HIIT to other exercise programs,” she said.

“HIIT is beneficial, but there is work to do with integrating it into the school day, and my research currently is looking at co-designing HIIT workouts with students that they then use themselves.”

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