A systematic review and meta-analysis of interval training versus moderate-intensity continuous training on body adiposity.
An interesting article in Obesity Reviews comparing the effectiveness of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and sprint interval training (SIT) with moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT). It presents level 1 evidence in the form of a systematic review and meta-analysis of 31 studies that concludes:
i. there is no difference in the body fat outcome between HIIT/SIT and MICT
ii. body fat reduction is more favourable with MICT than HIIT/SIT of lower time commitment and/or energy expenditure
iii. HIIT/SIT provides similar body fat reduction benefits to MICT but not in a more time-efficient manner
iv. neither HIIT/SIT nor MICT produce clinically meaningful reductions in body fat
The take home message is that HIIT/SIT is no more effective than MICT and these forms of exercise are not effective in reducing body fat. What we don't know is what effects these different forms of exercise have on other health outcomes such as blood pressure and blood lipid and sugar levels.
Despite these findings we need to though continue to advocate exercise to improve other overall health outcomes, even in the absence of weight loss, and improve the maintenance of weight loss as the result of lifestyle dietary interventions.
Finally, we need to stop making exercise complicated. It doesn't need to be one particular sort of exercise. What it does need to be is enjoyable for patients and clients, making it more readily adhered to, so it can become a part of a more active lifestyle.