(HealthDay News) — For obese youth, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) appears to be more effective for improving blood pressure and aerobic capacity than other forms of exercise, according to a meta-analysis published in Obesity Reviews.

Antonio García-Hermoso, PhD, from the Universidad de Santiago de Chile in Santiago, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effectiveness of HIIT interventions on cardiometabolic risk factors and aerobic capacity in overweight and obese youth. Data were included from 9 studies involving 274 children aged 6 to 17 years.

The researchers found that compared with other forms of exercise, 4- to 12-week HIIT interventions correlated with larger decreases in systolic blood pressure (−3.63 mm Hg) and greater increases in maximum oxygen uptake (1.92 mL/kg/minute). The type of comparison group and study duration were moderators.

“In summary, this meta-analysis provides insight into the higher effectiveness of short-term HIIT interventions on improving aerobic capacity and blood pressure, especially as compared to moderate-intensity continuous training, and especially with interventions that last more than 12 weeks,” the researchers wrote. 

“A study has reported that HIIT is perceived as a more enjoyable exercise compared to other exercise modalities, which would have implications for participation in adherence to this type of activity, which could favor greater autonomous motivation.”

Reference

  1. García-Hermoso A, Cerrillo-Urbina AJ, Herrera-Valenzuela T, Cristi-Montero C, Saavedra JM, Martínez-Vizcaíno V. Is high-intensity interval training more effective on improving cardiometabolic risk and aerobic capacity than other forms of exercise in overweight and obese youth? A meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2016. doi:10.1111/obr.12395.