High-Intensity Interval Training and Health Optimizing Physical Education: Achieving Health and Educative Outcomes in Secondary Physical Education—A Pilot Nonrandomized Comparison Trial

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 Macquarie University
  • 2 The University of the South Pacific
  • 3 Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta
  • 4 University of Queensland
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Although high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is perceived to be an efficient way to meet health outcomes in physical education (PE), the effect of HIIT on the learning environment of students is unknown. Purpose: This study compared two PE interventions lasting 8 weeks and assessed the potential efficacy of embedding HIIT into a PE program to meet concurrent health and educative outcomes. Methods: Participants (N = 166; mean age = 12.91 years) were assigned to one of two study conditions according to intact groupings: HIIT program (n = 84) and dynamic PE (DPE) program (n = 82). Assessments occurred at baseline and postintervention. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to test the intervention effects in each group. Results: Postintervention analysis demonstrated increases in health indices of both groups and comparing the effect size of each intervention revealed no difference. Systematic direct observation revealed effects for the provision of terminal feedback within the HIIT intervention (g = 1.03) when compared with the DPE intervention. A self-report questionnaire revealed changes in motivation toward PE among students allocated to the HIIT group were trivial, whereas students exposed to the DPE program displayed increased levels of motivation toward their PE experience. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that HIIT may elicit positive changes in PE settings by creating a “time potential” leading to an increased opportunity to learn without negating health gains. The DPE program proved to be move favorable in terms of student motivations to learn during PE.

Dudley and Weaver are with the Macquarie School of Education, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Dudley is also with the School of Education, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. Weaver is also with the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. Cairney is with the School of Human Movement and Nutritional Sciences, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia.

Dudley (dean.dudley@mq.edu.au) is corresponding author.

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