The effects of time and intensity of exercise on novel and established markers of CVD in adolescent youth

Am J Hum Biol. Jul-Aug 2011;23(4):517-26. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.21166. Epub 2011 Apr 4.


Objectives: This article examines the effects of brief, intense exercise in comparison with traditional endurance exercise on both novel and traditional markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in youth.

Methods: Forty seven boys and ten girls (16.4 ± 0.7 years of age) were divided into a moderate (MOD), high intensity (HIT), or a control group. The MOD group (12 boys, 4 girls) and HIT group (15 boys, 2 girls) performed three weekly exercise sessions over 7 weeks. Each session consisted of either four to six repeats of maximal sprint running within a 20 m area with 20-30 s recovery (HIT) or 20 min continuous running within a 20 m area at ∼70% maximal oxygen uptake (VO(2) max).

Results: Total exercise time commitment over the intervention was 420 min (MOD) and 63 min (HIT). Training volume was 85% lower for the HIT group. Total estimated energy expenditure was ∼907.2 kcal (HIT) and ∼4410 kcal (MOD). Significant improvements (P ≤ 0.05) were found in systolic blood pressure, aerobic fitness, and body mass index (BMI) postintervention (HIT). In the MOD group, significant (P ≤ 0.05) improvements were noted in aerobic fitness, percentage body fat (%BF), BMI, fibrinogen (Fg), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and insulin concentrations.

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that brief, intense exercise is a time efficient means for improving CVD risk factors in adolescents.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Interleukin-6