Interval training versus moderate-intensity continuous training for cardiorespiratory fitness improvements in middle-aged and older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Tsz Chun Eric POON, Waris WONGPIPIT, Robin Sze-Tak HO, Stephen Heung-Sang WONG

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7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interval training has been promoted as a superior, time-efficient exercise strategy for enhancing cardiorespiratory fitness in the ageing population. This study assessed the effectiveness of interval training compared with that of moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) for improving cardiorespiratory fitness in middle-aged and older adults. Six databases were systematically searched for studies with exercise interventions (minimum 2-week duration). Meta-analyses were conducted for within-group and between-group comparisons of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Sub-group analysis was performed using the nature of interval training (high-intensity interval training [HIIT] and sprint interval training [SIT]). Of 3,257 studies, 14 were included (429 participants). Within–group analyses demonstrated significant VO2max improvements (mL/kg/min) following interval training (mean difference: MD = 2.26; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.50–3.02) and MICT (MD = 1.34; 95% CI = 0.45–2.23]. When comparing the modes of training, the gain in VO2max was significantly greater following interval training (MD = 1.10; CI = 0.55-1.64). Sub–group analysis showed that HIIT (MD = 1.04; CI = 0.21–1.88) and SIT (MD = 1.18; CI = 0.60-1.76) resulted in superior VO2max gain than MICT. This study provides evidence synthesis for interval training as a viable exercise strategy to improve cardiorespiratory function in healthy ageing. Copyright © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1996-2005
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume39
Issue number17
Early online dateApr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Citation

Poon, E. T.-C., Wongpipit, W., Ho, R. S.-T., & Wong, S. H.-S. (2021). Interval training versus moderate-intensity continuous training for cardiorespiratory fitness improvements in middle-aged and older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Sports Sciences, 39(17), 1996-2005. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2021.1912453

Keywords

  • HIIT
  • Interval exercise
  • Continuous exercise
  • Aerobic fitness
  • Public health

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