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A volunteer is put through his paces.

Volunteers wanted to help scientists test fitness theory

Loughborough University scientists believe it may be possible to get fitter and healthier by doing even less exercise than they first thought.

Studies have proved that just one hour of High Intensity Training (HIT) over a two week period can benefit overweight people.

That involves 10 one minute bursts of fairly intense exercise, with a one minute rest in between, three times in each week, on say a bike.

But Loughborough scientists believe it may be possible to get the same health benefits from just two sessions per week.

The research by scientists in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences is part of a £5m project being carried out by the Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) and funded by the National Institute of Health Research.

James King PhD, Senior Research Associate in the BRU at Loughborough University, said: “A lot of studies have shown that you can get benefits in terms of diabetes outcomes, insulin sensitivity and glucose control with three sessions a week over a two week period.

“We are now saying, well actually can we get benefits with even less, from just two sessions a week?

“So we have got a study set up where we will have two groups, and one will do HIT three times a week and the other will do it two times a week over a two week period.

“We can then compare the two and see if there are any benefits for the latter group.

“We want to find out what is the least someone can get away with and still show some benefit.”

The researchers are looking for 30 male volunteers, with 15 per group, to take part in the study. They want people aged between 18 and 50 and who are overweight, with a body mass index over 28. Travel costs will be reimbursed.

Anyone interested in taking part in the study should contact James King. Tel: 01509 226324. Email:


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 13/34

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.


Chris Goddard
PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224