Whilst high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity may protect against cardiometabolic risk factor clustering, evidence suggests these outcomes are below optimal in English youths. Adolescence is a key stage in health behaviours development, and thus represents an opportunity for interventions aiming to improve the cardiometabolic health, fitness and activity levels of this population. Recently, there has been growing interest in the efficacy of low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIT) as a time efficient way of improving health and fitness outcomes in adults. Contrastingly, the effects of low-volume HIT in adolescents remains relatively unknown. The first aim of this programme therefore was to develop a novel school-based low-volume HIT intervention. The second was to determine the effectiveness of this model for improving the cardiometabolic health, cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity levels of adolescents.Study one examined adolescents’ views towards high-intensity exercise, and the proposed low-volume HIT intervention. This data was used to design the novel low-volume HIT model. In Study 2, participants’ heart rate and perceived exertion responses to three prototype prescriptions of low-volume HIT, based on boxing, dance and football were examined. Here, it was indicated that these activities were capable of eliciting a high-intensity training response (~90% of maximum heart rate). Study 3 incorporated the main intervention, which examined the effect of a 10-week multi-activity low-volume HIT intervention (named Project FFAB [Fun Fast Activity Blasts]) on various health and fitness outcomes in adolescents. Here, beneficial effects were detected in the intervention participants compared to the controls for triglycerides, waist circumference, lipid accumulation product and daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Study 4 assessed the fidelity of the intervention, and found that this had been largely upheld. Collectively therefore, it appears that Project FFAB represents a viable strategy for improving aspects of cardiometabolic health and physical activity levels in adolescents.
|Date of Award||26 Sep 2014|
|Supervisor||Alan Batterham (Supervisor)|