Charles Winn

Charles Winn
PhD Title
Influence of high-intensity interval training in adolescents with asthma: The x4a trial: eXercise for Asthma
Funded by
Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research [AUK-AC-2012-01] and Swansea University Medical School
Supervisors
Prof Gwyn Davies, Dr Melitta McNarry, Prof Gareth Stratton/Prof Andrew Wilson (Swansea/East Anglia)
Based at
Swansea University

Influence of high-intensity interval training in adolescents with asthma: The x4a trial: eXercise for Asthma

Low levels of fitness are associated with increased body mass index (BMI), both of which are related to quality of life (QoL) and the occurrence and severity of asthma. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to co-develop and implement a six-month high-intensity interval training (HIIT) intervention targeting aerobic fitness, BMI and QoL improvements in adolescents with asthma.

616 adolescents participated in the study, with 223 enrolled in the school based HIIT intervention, consisting of 10-30second bouts at >90%age-predicted maximum heart-rate with equal rest for 30 minutes three times a week. Formative group interviews to elicit the views of adolescents with and without asthma on asthma and exercise were used to inform the design of the intervention. Anthropometrics, aerobic fitness, lung function and QoL were measured at baseline, mid-point and post-intervention to evaluate the intervention’s impact; follow-up measures were also taken to evaluate sustainability.

Focus groups revealed participants with asthma had a fear of asthma attack through exercise, although fear did not act as a barrier, and that the intervention should be varied to circumvent activity-specific anxieties. Participants with asthma were found to have higher BMI and lower physical activity in comparison to their peers, but no difference in cardiorespiratory fitness. The intervention elicited significant improvements in peak cardiorespiratory fitness, irrespective of asthma, while maintaining BMI which increased in the controls; no changes were observed in the sub-maximal exercise parameters, QoL or lung function.

The present findings suggest that HIIT may be effective at increasing peak cardiorespiratory fitness and preventing increases in BMI in adolescents, irrespective of asthma status. Overall, the series of studies show that asthma does not deleteriously influence maximal and sub-maximal aerobic fitness, or trainability in adolescents, and that HIIT is a safe exercise modality for adolescents with asthma.

About me

My research interests are asthma, maturation and physical activity interventions.

Publications

  • Eddolls WTB, McNarry MA, Lester L, Winn CON, Stratton G, Mackintosh KA. The association between physical activity, fitness and body mass index on mental well-being and quality of life in adolescents. Qual Life Res. 2018, [online].
  • Winn CON, Mackintosh KA, Eddolls WTB, Stratton G, Wilson AM, Rance JY, Doull IJM, McNarry MA, Davies GA. Perceptions of asthma and exercise in adolescents with and without asthma. J Asthma. 2017:30,1-9.
  • Eddolls WTB, McNarry MA, Stratton G, Winn CON, Mackintosh KA. High-Intensity Interval Training Interventions in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Sports Med. 2017:47, 2363-2374.

Research activity (conferences, congress, annual scientific meeting)

  • Oral presentation at the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research Annual Scientific Meeting, The x4a trial: eXercise for Asthma, Bristol UK January 2018
  • Oral presentation at the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research joint centre event, The effects of a six-month high-intensity interval training intervention on aerobic fitness and fatness in adolescents with asthma,London UK September 2017
  • Oral presentation at the European College of Sport Science annual congressThe influence of a six-month high-intensity interval training intervention on the pulmonary oxygen uptake kinetics in adolescents with and without asthma, Essen Germany July 2017
  • Oral presentation at the Pan Wales conference, The influence of a six-month high-intensity interval training intervention on the pulmonary oxygen uptake kinetics in adolescents with and without asthma, Swansea UK April 2017
  • Oral presentation at the Swansea University Medical School Postgraduate conference, Perceptions of asthma and exercise in children and adolescents, Swansea UK December  2016
  • Oral presentation at the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research Annual Scientific Meeting, Perceptions of asthma and exercise in children and adolescents, Edinburgh UK November 2016
  • Oral presentation at the European Respiratory Society International Congress, Effect of high-intensity exercise on aerobic performance and airway inflammation in asthma, London UK September 2016
  • Poster presentation at Swansea University Medical School Postgraduate conference, The x4a study: the eXercise for asthma study, Swansea UK December 2015
  • Attended Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research Annual Scientific Meeting, Oxford UK November 2014
  • Attended and presented a poster at the European Industrial Doctoral School summer workshop for the Knowledge Exchange Skills Scholarship summer grad school, Maturation, player characteristics and player development in U15 junior rugby in Wales, Pardubice Czech Republic June 2014 
  • Poster presentation at British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences student conference, Maturation, player characteristics and player development in U15 junior rugby in Wales, Portsmouth UK April 2014

Acknowledgements

This work is funded by the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research [AUK-AC-2012-01] and Swansea University Medical School. Commando Joe’s® implemented the intervention and I would like to thank Matthew Hudson for his help running the sessions. 

© 2015 AUKCAR