The data comes from the Generation 100 study, cause-and-effect research that followed participants aged 70-77 over a five year period. The group of 1500 participants was split into three different training groups, one of which was assigned a routine of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) twice a week.
“Both physical and mental quality of life were better in the high-intensity group after five years than in the other two groups,” shares Dorthe Stensvold, a professor in the Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), “High-intensity interval training also had the greatest positive effect on fitness.”
The study also had two additional participant groups: a control group, who were advised to follow Norway’s existing health recommendation; and a group who were assigned to work out at a continuous moderate intensity for 50 minutes, twice a week.
“In the interval training group, 3% of the participants had died after five years. The percentage was 6% in the moderate group. The difference is not statistically significant, but the trend is so clear that we believe the results give good reason to recommend high-intensity training for the elderly,” says Stensvold.