(HealthDay News) — High-intensity interval training (HIIT) seems to be beneficial for improving metabolic health, according to a meta-analysis published in Obesity Reviews.

Charlotte Jelleyman, from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to quantify the effects of HIIT vs control conditions or continuous training on markers of glucose regulation and insulin resistance. 

Data were included for 50 studies that involved adult participants and training for 2 weeks or more.

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The researchers found that, compared with both control conditions and continuous training, HIIT correlated with a reduction in insulin resistance (HIIT vs control: P=.009; HIIT vs continuous training, P=.036). 

HbA1c decreased by 0.19% and body weight by 1.3 kg with HIIT vs control conditions (P=.021 and P<.001). No significant between-group differences were seen in other outcomes. 

Participants at risk for or with type 2 diabetes experienced reductions in fasting glucose with HIIT vs control conditions (P<.001).

“HIIT appears effective at improving metabolic health, particularly in those at risk of or with type 2 diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “Larger randomized controlled trials of longer duration than those included in this meta-analysis are required to confirm these results.”


  1. Jelleyman C, Yates T, O’Donovan G, et al. The effects of high-intensity interval training on glucose regulation and insulin resistance: a meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2015;16(11):942-961.