To determine the acute effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) on vascular function.
Lean (n = 18, BMI = 17.1 ± 0.7) and obese (n = 17, BMI = 25.4 ± 0.8) prepubescent boys aged 10.2 ± 0.2 years were studied. HIIE consisted of 8 sets of 20 s of cycle ergometry at 100, 130, and 170% of VO2peak alternating with 10 s of rests.
The obese group had higher (p < .05) body mass, BMI, body fat percentage, waist-hip ratio than the lean group. Carotid artery wall thickness and arterial stiffness as assessed by brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) were greater in the obese than in the lean group (p < .05). Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was not different between the groups. Total energy expenditure increased gradually as the exercise intensity increased in both groups (p < .05). The obese group had significantly greater total energy expenditure in all three HIIE intensities than the lean group. FMD tended to be higher and baPWV lower as the exercise intensity increased in both groups. Only the HIIE at 170% demonstrated greater FMD compared with the baseline in both groups. baPWV decreased significantly after HIIE at 130 and 170% VO2peak in both groups.
Supramaximal HIIE can be a feasible exercise modality for improving vascular function in obese prepubescent boys. Future exercise intervention studies are warranted.