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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42747. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042747. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

Similar health benefits of endurance and high-intensity interval training in obese children.

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University of Sao Paulo, School of Medicine - Division of Rheumatology, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.



To compare two modalities of exercise training (i.e., Endurance Training [ET] and High-Intensity Interval Training [HIT]) on health-related parameters in obese children aged between 8 and 12 years.


Thirty obese children were randomly allocated into either the ET or HIT group. The ET group performed a 30 to 60-minute continuous exercise at 80% of the peak heart rate (HR). The HIT group training performed 3 to 6 sets of 60-s sprint at 100% of the peak velocity interspersed by a 3-min active recovery period at 50% of the exercise velocity. HIT sessions last ~70% less than ET sessions. At baseline and after 12 weeks of intervention, aerobic fitness, body composition and metabolic parameters were assessed.


BOTH THE ABSOLUTE (ET: 26.0%; HIT: 19.0%) and the relative VO(2) peak (ET: 13.1%; HIT: 14.6%) were significantly increased in both groups after the intervention. Additionally, the total time of exercise (ET: 19.5%; HIT: 16.4%) and the peak velocity during the maximal graded cardiorespiratory test (ET: 16.9%; HIT: 13.4%) were significantly improved across interventions. Insulinemia (ET: 29.4%; HIT: 30.5%) and HOMA-index (ET: 42.8%; HIT: 37.0%) were significantly lower for both groups at POST when compared to PRE. Body mass was significantly reduced in the HIT (2.6%), but not in the ET group (1.2%). A significant reduction in BMI was observed for both groups after the intervention (ET: 3.0%; HIT: 5.0%). The responsiveness analysis revealed a very similar pattern of the most responsive variables among groups.


HIT and ET were equally effective in improving important health related parameters in obese youth.

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