Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of a Teacher-Facilitated High-Intensity Interval Training Intervention for Older Adolescents

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Purpose: This study was designed to assess the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a teacher-facilitated high-intensity interval training intervention for older adolescents (ie, 16–18 y). Methods: Two secondary schools from New South Wales, Australia were recruited, and participants (ie, grade 11 students; 16.2 [0.4] y) were randomized at the school level to the Burn 2 Learn intervention (n = 38), or a wait-list control group (n = 30). Teachers were trained to facilitate the delivery of the novel high-intensity interval training program, which involved 3 sessions per week (∼12–20 min) for 14 weeks. A range of process measures were used to assess intervention feasibility (ie, recruitment, retention, attendance, and program satisfaction). Primary (cardiorespiratory fitness, determined using the progressive aerobic cardiovascular endurance run shuttle run test) and secondary outcomes were assessed at baseline and posttest (14-wk). Results: Sixty-eight grade 11 students were recruited at baseline (85% of target sample), 61 participants completed posttest assessments (90% retention) and on average, participants performed 1.9 sessions per week. Overall, teachers (4.0/5) and students (4.0/5) were satisfied with the Burn 2 Learn program. Group by time effects were observed for cardiorespiratory fitness (8.9 laps; 95% confidence intervals, 1.7–16.2) and a selection of secondary outcomes. Conclusion: This study provides evidence for the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a teacher-facilitated high-intensity interval training intervention for older adolescents.

Leahy, Eather, Smith, Morgan, Plotnikoff, Costigan, and Lubans are with the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia. Hillman is with the Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Nilsson is with the Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia. Costigan is also with the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia. Noetel is with the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Lubans (David.Lubans@newcastle.edu.au) is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Table 1 (PDF 155 KB)
  • Supplementary Table 2 (PDF 158 KB)