Low volume high intensity interval training leads to improved asthma control in adults

J Asthma. 2021 Sep;58(9):1256-1260. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2020.1766063. Epub 2020 May 20.


Objective: Regularly engaging in aerobic exercise is associated with improved asthma control and quality of life in adults with mild to moderate severity asthma. Previous intervention research has primarily employed moderate intensity continuous aerobic exercise protocols. As such, the impact of high intensity interval training (HIIT) on asthma control is poorly understood.

Methods: A six-week, low volume HIIT intervention (3 times/week, 20 min bouts) was conducted in adults with asthma (n = 20). Asthma control was assessed using the Asthma Control Questionnaire-7 (ACQ-7).

Results: ACQ-7 improved from pre to post-intervention (pre: 0.8 ± 0.6; post: 0.5 ± 0.4, p = 0.02, Cohens d = 0.5). In total, 7/20 (35%) participants experienced clinically meaningful improvements in ACQ-7.

Conclusion: A low-volume HIIT intervention led to statistically and clinically significant improvements in asthma control as well as improved exertional dyspnea and exercise enjoyment.

Keywords: Exercise induced; control/management.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Asthma / rehabilitation*
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Dyspnea / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • High-Intensity Interval Training*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult