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High-intensity interval training on cognitive and mental health in adolescents

Costigan, Sarah A., Eather, Narelle, Plotnikoff, Ronald C., Hillman, Charles H. and Lubans, David R. 2016, High-intensity interval training on cognitive and mental health in adolescents, Medicine & science in sports & exercise, vol. 48, no. 10, pp. 1985-1993, doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000993.

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Title High-intensity interval training on cognitive and mental health in adolescents
Author(s) Costigan, Sarah A.ORCID iD for Costigan, Sarah A.
Eather, Narelle
Plotnikoff, Ronald C.
Hillman, Charles H.
Lubans, David R.
Journal name Medicine & science in sports & exercise
Volume number 48
Issue number 10
Start page 1985
End page 1993
Total pages 9
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Place of publication Philadelphia, Pa.
Publication date 2016-10
ISSN 0195-9131
Keyword(s) HIIT
mental health
physical activity
Summary PURPOSE: Emerging literature suggests that physical activity and fitness may have a positive impact on cognitive and mental health for adolescents. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the efficacy of two high intensity interval training (HIIT) protocols for improving cognitive and mental health outcomes (executive function, psychological wellbeing, psychological distress and physical self-concept) in adolescents.

METHODS: Participants (n=65; mean age=15.8±0.6) were randomized to three conditions: aerobic exercise program (AEP; n=21), resistance and aerobic exercise program (RAP; n=22) and control (n=22). HIIT sessions (8-10min/session) were delivered during physical education lessons or at lunchtime three times/week for 8-weeks. Assessments were conducted at baseline and immediate post-intervention to detect changes in executive function (Trail Making Test, TMT), psychological wellbeing, psychological distress and physical self-description, by researchers blinded to treatment allocation. Intervention effects were examined using linear mixed models. Cohen's d effect sizes and clinical inference were also calculated.

RESULTS: Small improvements in executive function (d=-0.32, 95%CI -9.12 to 9.77; p=0.386) and psychological wellbeing (d=0.34, 95%CI -1.73 to 2.37; p=0.252) were evident in the AEP group. Moderate improvements in executive function (d=-0.51, 95% CI -8.92 to 9.73; p=0.171), and small improvements in wellbeing (d=0.35, 95%CI -1.46 to 2.53; p=0.219) and perceived appearance (d=0.35, 95%CI -0.74 to 0.41; p=0.249), were observed for the RAP group. Mean feelings state scores improved from pre-workout to post-post workout in both HIIT conditions, with significant results for the AEP (p=0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the potential of embedding HIIT within the school day for improving cognitive and mental health among adolescents.
Language eng
DOI 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000993
Field of Research 110602 Exercise Physiology
1106 Human Movement And Sports Science
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, American College of Sports Medicine
Free to Read? No
Free to Read Start Date 2017-11-01
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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