Evaluation of a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Program for Military Personnel Receiving Inpatient Treatment for a Substance Use Disorder


  • Mikayla Soli Arizona State University
  • Rhonda Nelson University of Utah




Exercise, High Intensity Interval Training, Military Personnel, Recreational Therapy, Substance Use Disorder, Mental Health


This study aimed to evaluate a high intensity interval training (HIIT) program delivered in an inpatient treatment setting serving military personnel. This recreational therapy (RT) program assessed the impact of a single session (60-minute) HIIT program on participant affect and state-anxiety. Using a single-group pretest-posttest design, 58 data sets were collected from participants (N = 20). Results indicated an increase in positive affect (z = -.6.52, p < .001), a decrease in negative affect (z = -2.64, p < .01), and a significant reduction in anxiety, t (57) = 1.99, p = .05 following the intervention. The program also resulted in a significant elevation in heart rate, t (57) = -25.89, p < .001 with most participants reaching moderate to high intensity physical activity levels. On a scale of 1–10, participants rated their likelihood of participating in HIIT post-discharge at 6.28 (SD = 2.43). Additional qualitative data provides valuable insight on the perceived benefits to participants and offers suggestions for future program development and research in this area.


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Research Papers