The effect of aquatic High Intensity Interval Training on cardiometabolic and physical health markers in women: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Manny M.Y. Kwok, Shamay S.M. Ng, S. S. Man, Billy C.L. So (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Background: We performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effect of Aquatic High Intensity Interval Training (AHIIT) on cardiometabolic and physical health markers in women. Methods: Systematic search used 7 databases (MEDLINE, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Cochrane, Embase, CINAL complete, PsycINFO). The Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) score was used to evaluate the methodological quality of the studies. Clinical trials compared AHIIT with a control group that receive no exercise training. We integrated randomized controlled trials published in English, and participants were women aged ≥18 years. The outcome of interest was the change in cardiometabolic and physical health markers. Results: Among 242 articles screened, 18 articles (13 trials) were included in this meta-analysis comparing AHIIT (n = 261) with a control group (n = 215). The median PEDro score was 5.5 out of 10 (range, 4–8). AHIIT significantly improved peak oxygen uptake (Hedges' g 0.610; 95% CI 0.277–0.943; P < 0.001), reduced resting heart rate (Hedges' g −0.495; 95% CI -0.866 to −0.124; P < 0.05), as well as chair to stand test. (Hedges’ g 0.548; 95% CI 0.019 to 1.077; P < 0.05). Conclusion: AHIIT has a moderate effect in improving cardiometabolic and physical health markers in women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-127
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Exercise Science and Fitness
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Aquatic high intensity interval exercise
  • Cardiometabolic health
  • Meta-analysis
  • Physical health
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this