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BMC Public Health. 2010 Jan 8;10:8. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-10-8.

The influence of a high intensity physical activity intervention on a selection of health related outcomes: an ecological approach.

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Health and Exercise Sciences, School of Science and Technology, University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton, UK.



Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the main cause of mortality throughout the world. With accumulating evidence suggesting that CVD has its origins in childhood, it is unsurprising that research into obesity prevalence within school aged youth is burgeoning. Within this study our primary objective will be to examine whether high intensity interval training (HIT) improves the CVD risk profile of secondary school aged adolescents. Our secondary objective will be to identify the prevalence of CVD risk factors and examine factors associated with these in adolescents aged 15-18 years.


A South Lanarkshire school of low socioeconomic status (SES) was selected to participate in the study intervention. Participants from secondary 5 (15-17 years) and 6 (16-18 years) will be recruited for this study. Participants from secondary 6 will be randomly assigned to Group A (HIT) or Group B (moderate-vigorous) and will perform each protocol three times weekly. The secondary 5 participants will act as the control group. Data collection will take place during the Physical Education (PE) lessons and on school premises and will include: anthropometrical variables (height, weight, waist and hip circumferences, skinfold thickness at two sites), physiological responses (blood pressure, aerobic fitness, heart rate (HR) response, vertical jump performance, 10-metre (m) sprint, 50-m sprint and 505-agility test), diet (self-reported seven-day food diary), physical activity (Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A)) and blood tests (fasting glucose, insulin, total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), fibrinogen (Fg), interleukin-6 (IL-6), adiponectin (high molecular weight), triglyceride and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). An environmental audit of the secondary school and the health related quality of life (HRQOL) of the participants will also be measured. Finally, all exercise sessions will be video recorded and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and mood states will also be taken after each exercise session.


Our study may be able to demonstrate a time efficient means of reducing CVD risk factors in adolescents.



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