Comparison of High-Intensity Interval Training to Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training in Older Adults: A Systematic Review

J Aging Phys Act. 2020 Apr 16;1-10. doi: 10.1123/japa.2019-0111. Online ahead of print.


High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is emerging as a safe and effective means to combat chronic diseases. The objective of this work was to perform a systematic review of the effect of HIIT interventions in an aging population. Three electronic databases were searched for randomized trials comparing the effect of HIIT and moderate-intensity continuous training in older adults. After a thorough screening process, 15 articles were identified as meeting the inclusion criteria. All studies expressed a comparable or superior effect of HIIT in cardiorespiratory fitness measures. No studies reported a lessened effect of HIIT in comparison with moderate-intensity continuous training. This systematic review demonstrates that HIIT is a useful exercise regimen, which can be used in older adults to increase cardiorespiratory fitness. More research is needed to determine the effects of HIIT in an aging, predominately female population.

Keywords: aging; cardiorespiratory fitness; exercise.