Combining supervised run interval training or moderate-intensity continuous training with the diabetes prevention program on clinical outcomes

  • Nicole M. Gilbertson
  • Joan A. Mandelson
  • Kathryn Hilovsky
  • Jeremy D. Akers
  • Trent A. Hargens
  • David L. Wenos
  • Elizabeth S. EdwardsEmail author
Original Article



The present study was designed to evaluate the 16 weeks diabetes prevention program (DPP) combined with instructed run sprint interval training (INT) or moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) on glycemic control, body composition, fitness, exercise adherence, and perceived exercise enjoyment in sedentary, adults with prediabetes.


Participants completed three weekly supervised sessions of INT (4–10 bouts of 30 s maximal sprints followed by a 4 min active recovery) or MICT (30–60 min at 45–55% HRR) exercise coupled with the DPP for 16 weeks. At baseline, 8 and 16 weeks, participants completed fitness and clinical assessments as well as questionnaires to assess group and time differences.


Twenty-nine study participants (INT n = 17, MICT n = 12) were randomized, however, significantly (p = 0.024) more participants withdrew from the INT (n = 11) than MICT (n = 4) treatment. There was no significant difference between groups in perceived exercise enjoyment, but, the MICT group significantly improved their perceived exercise enjoyment (10.8 ± 14.2; p = 0.021) from baseline to 16 weeks. Both INT and MICT groups decreased their body weight (2.0 ± 0.8 vs. − 5.5 ± 1.4 kg; p < 0.001), BMI (− 0.6 ± 0.3 vs. − 2.1 ± 0.5 kg/m2; p < 0.001), body fat mass (1.4 ± 0.6 vs. − 4.2 ± 1.0 kg; p < 0.001), fasting glucose (− 0.09 ± 0.01 vs. − 0.18 ± 0.02 mmol/L; p = 0.020), and HbA1c (− 0.21 ± 0.09 vs. − 0.12 ± 0.12%; p = 0.001), respectively, however, the MICT had greater reductions (GxT: p ≤ 0.05) in body weight, BMI, and body fat than the INT group.


Sixteen weeks of MICT is adhered to better and elicits greater improvements in body composition than INT. Nevertheless, both interventions similarly reduced fasting glucose and HbA1c in adults with prediabetes, suggesting either treatment could be effective for T2D prevention.


Prediabetes Glucose control Body composition Exercise enjoyment Sprint interval training Diabetes prevention program 



American College of Sports Medicine


Analysis of variance


Body mass index


Blood pressure


Diabetes prevention program


Group by time interaction


Hemoglobin A1c


Heart rate


Interval training


Intention to treat


Moderate-intensity continuous exercise


Oral glucose tolerance test


Physical activity enjoyment scale


Rate of perceived exertion


Standard error


Type 2 diabetes


Waist-to-hip ratio



Thank you to Sentara-Rockingham Memorial Regional Hospital Medical Center (Harrisonburg, VA) and the Human Performance Laboratory at James Madison University for the support and assistance throughout the project. We would like to express our gratitude to all the undergraduate research assistants, especially Kevin Decker, who helped with data collection and training sessions. This project would not have been possible without the excellent efforts of our study participants.

Author contributions

NMG and ESE were primarily responsible for analyzing data and writing this manuscript. JDA, TAH, DLW and ESE were responsible for the study design and obtaining funding. NMG, JAM, and KH recruited participants, collected data, trained participants, and maintained data. JDA reviewed and analyzed food logs. All the authors edited this manuscript and approved submission.


This study was funded by Sentara-Rockingham Memorial Regional Hospital (Harrisonburg, VA) and an Inter-Professional Education Grant through the College of Health and Behavioral Studies at James Madison University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

421_2019_4137_MOESM1_ESM.docx (30 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 30 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health ProfessionsJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA
  3. 3.Morrison Bruce CenterJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA

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