The Benefits of Whole Body Vibration for Older Adults

Guest Blogger Sarah Aboody Talks About the Benefits of Whole Body Vibration for Older Adults

By Sarah at T-Z

one Vibration

At T-Zone Vibration, we try to monitor the studies and clinical trials that happen in regards to whole body. One came across my desk about WBV (Whole Body Vibration) and older women that I thought should be shared.

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This is only one of many, many studies that highlight the huge benefits whole body vibration technology can offer. It is sometimes helpful to understand the science behind why we think whole body vibration is such a huge advancement in the field of health and fitness. This study was published back in 2004 and looked at knee-extension strength and speed of movement and counter movement jump performance in older women. Basically – getting stronger and faster by using WBV, conventional training, or no training at all.

The study followed 89 women for 24 weeks, all aged 58 to 74. They were divided into 3 groups – a WBV group, a traditional resistance-training group, and a control group who did not do any training. The WBV group did simple standing WBV exercises without any extra weights.  The conventional training group did several repetitions of leg presses and leg-extension exercises using weights that increased through the course of the 24 weeks.

There were many technical measurements and figures talking about what the women did and how they measured progress etc, but here is the gist of what they found out:  As you probably guessed they found significant benefits in both conventional training as well as WBV training (no surprise there). You already know that someone can go to a gym and pound through sets that target individual muscles one by one – or use a whole body vibration machine. Of course you will see benefits from either, so it just depends on which one you prefer to do.

This study was chosen to share because to highlight a few points they made in their conclusion. It was interesting to note that they found most of the gain was realized within the first 12 weeks of training i.e. three months of a short series of exercises 3 times a week. So this is great encouragement for those who are just starting out – you won’t have to train for months and months before you feel yourself getting stronger and fitter.

Another point to highlight was about WBV itself.  “As previously shown in young women, it is suggested that the strength gain in older women is mainly due to the vibration stimulus and not only to the unloaded exercises performed on the WBV platform.”  So what they are saying is that in fact the exercises themselves likely weren’t the reason for the strength gain – it was the women simply standing on the whole body vibration machine that made them stronger. This doesn’t mean that there is no point in doing your routines while on the machine – as with everything else you get more out if you put more in. But those people who aren’t quite ready to perform exercises yet, or just are having an off day, just standing will make you stronger.

So there you have it – that’s your science lesson for the day! Class dismissed 🙂

The study information is as below for those that are interested.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004 Jun;52(6):901-8.

Whole-body-vibration training increases knee-extension strength and speed of movement in older women.

Roelants M, Delecluse C, Verschueren SM.

Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics Laboratory, Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Department of Kinesiology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

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