The Influence of High Intensity Interval Training on the Salivary Cortisol Response to a Psychological Stressor and Mood State in Non-Sedentary College Students

Ormsbee, Michael J.; Kinsey, Amber W.; Minwook Chong; Friedman, Heather S.; Dodge, Tonya; Fehling, Patricia C.
February 2013
Journal of Exercise Physiology Online;Feb2013, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p105
Academic Journal
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been reported to induce similar physiological adaptations associated with endurance training but in less time. However, the influence of short-term HIIT on salivary cortisol (in response to a psychological stress) and mood state has not been evaluated. The present study examined the effects of progressive HIIT (10 days of training over 2 wks, progressing from 0 to 8 HIIT intervals) on a cycle ergometer on salivary cortisol (in response to stress) and mood state. Twenty two, non-sedentary, college students were randomly assigned to either a HIIT group (n=12) or a no exercise control group (n=10). Psychological stress was induced by a public speaking task (5-min speech) before and after the training intervention. No significant changes in salivary cortisol concentrations (in response to the stressor) or mood state were present after progressive HIIT. Ten sessions of progressive HIIT is an insufficient amount of time to observe changes in salivary cortisol concentrations in response to psychological stress or mood state in non-sedentary, college students. Future studies should address different types of populations including sedentary and highly active individuals to understand if HIIT can effectively improve stress responses and mood state similarly to other types of training.


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