HIIT provides alternative exercise plan to current Government guidelines

12 September 2018 

Sport and Exercise Science academics at Canterbury Christ Church University found that undertaking nine-minutes of high intensity interval exercise over a two-week period improves a number of important health parameters.

Current Government guidelines for adults aged between 19 and 64 suggest that over a week, physical activity should add up to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity in bouts of ten minutes or more.

Alternatively, the guidelines state “benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.”

The Christ Church study recruited 40 physically inactive participants, who undertook high intensity resistance training on cycling machines. They trained for 1.5 minutes, three times per week, for a two-week period. 

This short-term training programme demonstrated a significant improvement in fitness, heart health and also lowered blood pressure, which are all important risk factors for cardiovascular disease.


These findings indicate that high intensity interval training (HIIT) can provide an alternative exercise plan for individuals who are unable to meet current Government physical activity guidelines. 

Dr Jamie O’Driscoll, principal investigator of the research project, said: “It is well known that a physically inactive lifestyle is a major risk for numerous chronic diseases. 

“Lack of time is a leading reason why a large proportion of the population are unable to meet the recommended guidelines. However, most people should be able to find a couple of minutes, three times a week for exercise. 

“There are a number of ways people can perform high intensity interval training at home. If people want to follow the programme within this research, they will need a fixed bicycle with the ability to control pedal resistance” 

The findings have now been published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. You can read the full report here.


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 23:42:00