Cardiorespiratory fitness and accelerometer-determined physical activity following one year of free-living high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training: a randomized trial Jung, Mary E.; Locke, S. R.; Bourne, J. E.; Beauchamp, Mark R. (Mark Robert), 1972-; Lee, T.; Singer, Joel; MacPherson, M.; Barry, J.; Jones, C.; Little, Jonathan P.
Background: Free-living adherence to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has not been adequately tested. This randomized trial examined changes in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and accelerometer-measured purposeful physical activity over 12 months of free-living HIIT versus moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT). Methods: Ninety-nine previously low-active participants with overweight/obesity were randomly assigned to HIIT (n = 47) or MICT (n = 52). Both interventions were combined with evidence-based behaviour change counselling consisting of 7 sessions over 2 weeks. Individuals in HIIT were prescribed 10 X 1-min interval-based exercise 3 times per week (totalling 75 min) whereas individuals in MICT were prescribed 150 min of steady-state exercise per week (50 mins 3 times per week). Using a maximal cycling test to exhaustion with expired gas analyses, CRF was assessed at baseline and after 6 and 12 months of free-living exercise. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity of 10+ minutes (MVPA10+) was assessed by 7-day accelerometry at baseline, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Intention to treat analyses were conducted using linear mixed models. Results: CRF was improved over the 12 months relative to baseline in both HIIT (+ 0.15 l/min, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.23) and MICT (+ 0.11 l/min, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.18). Both groups improved 12-month MVPA10+ above baseline (HIIT: + 36 min/week, 95% CI 17 to 54; MICT: + 69 min/week, 95% CI 49 to 89) with the increase being greater (by 33 min, 95% CI 6 to 60) in MICT (between group difference, P = 0.018). Conclusion: Despite being prescribed twice as many minutes of exercise and accumulating significantly more purposeful exercise, CRF improvements were similar across 12 months of free-living HIIT and MICT in previously low-active individuals with overweight/obesity.
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