Can a minimal amount of exercise improve health? A study of reduced-exertion High-intensity interval (HIT) training

From: European Journal of Applied Physiology

Journal rating:
rating: 89%
Study Quality:
rating: 85%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 30%
rating: 0%


  • 29 sedentary men and women


  • Participants were assigned to the reduced-exertion High-intensity interval training intervention or a control group.
  • Subjects assigned to the control groups maintained their normal sedentary lifestyle.
  • Subjects in the training groups completed three exercise sessions per week for 6weeks. The 10-min exercise sessions consisted of low-intensity cycling and one (first session) or two (all other sessions) brief ‘all-out’ sprints (10s in week 1, 15s in weeks 2–3 and 20s in the final 3weeks).


  • Insulin sensitivity significantly increased by 28% in the male training group following the intervention.
  • VO2peak increased in the male training (+15%) and female training (+12%) groups.


  • Yes (with confidence)


Editors Notes

  • Note that the number of participants was small, and as such, the results should be treated with caution.
  • The participants were initially sedentary, so any improvement in VO2peak was likely with only a minimal amount of exercise.