Effect of the 90-second ‘Gear’ exercise programme on cardiometabolic risk factors in persons with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease
Background: High-intensity interval training has recently gained popularity at improving cardiometabolic health. However, a close investigation of high-intensity interval training reveals that the exercise duration is similar to moderate-intensity continuous exercise.
Objective: To compare the effect of the time-efficient ‘Gear’ exercise programmes to traditional exercise on cardiometabolic risk factors in persons with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.
Methods: The study implemented a six-week, randomised controlled trial. The variables were low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), blood pressure and body composition. Forty-eight participants completed the study. Participants were randomly assigned to either the ‘Gear’ exercise programme repeated at different times during the day (GEP-DT): cycled for 90 seconds, repeated three times/day, for three days/week (n = 12); ‘Gear’ exercise programme at one point in time (GEP-OT): cycled for 90 seconds followed by 4 minutes and 30 seconds rest, repeated three times at one point in time, for three days/week (n = 14); 30 minutes of moderate-intensity continuous cycling repeated three days/week at 55-69% HRmax (n = 11); and the controls, who were encouraged not to exercise (n = 11).
A demonstration of the ‘Gear’ exercise programme can be viewed on the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAbkRg9ex94
Results: The 90-second GEP-DT intervention reduced HbA1c post six-weeks of training (MD = 0.1±0.4, % Δ = -1.3%, d = ˗0.70). The GEP-OT group decreased blood triglycerides with a large effect size (MD = 0.6±1.3, % Δ = ˗31.9%, d = ˗0.83).
Conclusion: The novel 90-second ‘Gear’ exercise programme moderately reduced HbA1c and the 18-minute GEP-OT lowered blood triglycerides. ‘Gear’ exercise programmes will encourage future research in persons with non-communicable diseases, and it should be considered as a public health initiative to promote exercise in clinical, home and work environments.
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