Aerobic exercise promotes the growth of new neurons within the brain, leading to improvements in learning and memory. This may be a strategy for the prevention or reversal of cognitive decline. However, whether higher intensity exercise is able to elicit greater improvement is presently unknown. Our clinical trial aims to establish whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) elicit greater improvement in cognitive function over current moderate-intensity physical activity guidelines in healthy older adults.

Another area of interest is whether HIIT is able to reduce chronic concentrations of systemic inflammatory biomarkers, and improve health-related body composition in older adults. Age-related inflammation and body composition changes occur independently of chronic disease, and are thought to be causative in the development and progression of chronic diseases with the highest morbidity and mortality implications. This study will be the first to investigate the effect of exercise intensity on chronic inflammation in healthy older adults.

Funding Body: This research project is a collaboration between The School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences (CRExPAH), the Queensland Brain Institute and The Centre for Advanced Imaging, within the University of Queensland.

This research is funded by the Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation and Sports Medicine Australia.

Project members

The University of Queensland researchers involved in this project are:

Miss Grace Atkinson

PhD Candidate

Dr Mia Schaumberg

Honorary Research Fellow
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences

Dr Tina Skinner

Senior Lecturer
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences