Physical activity interventions: effects of duration and intensity


Corresponding author: D. S. Buchan, Health and Exercise Sciences, School of Science and Technology, University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton, Scotland, UK. Tel:+44 1698 283100. Ex. 8625, E-mail:


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of exercising at different intensities over 7 weeks on components of physical fitness and CVD risk factors. Forty-seven boys and 10 girls, (16.4±0.7 years of age) were divided into a moderate, high intensity, or a control group. All participants had indices of obesity and blood pressure recorded in addition to four physical performance measures pre- and post-intervention. In addition, the intervention groups repeated the physical performance measures at the 4th week phase of the intervention. Following the intervention, significant improvements (P<0.05) in the high-intensity group were found in the 20 MSFT, agility, CMJ and 10 m sprint post-intervention. Participants in the moderate intensity group displayed significant improvements (P<0.05) in both the CMJ and 20 MSFT post-intervention. Body fat % significantly improved (P<0.01) in the moderate group only post-intervention. Interestingly, Systolic blood pressure significantly improved post-intervention (112±10 vs 106±11 mmHg) (P=0.017) in the high intensity group. In conclusion, high-intensity exercise over 7 weeks is a very time efficient means of improving important components of physical fitness in adolescents.