Use of Whole Body Vibration as an Exercise Modality for Older Adults with Health Conditions

Center for Promoting Ideas
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 2019, 9 (3), pp. 1 - 8
Issue Date:
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The concept of whole body vibration conjures up a range of images, usually related to the health and fitness sphere. It may be an image of a healthy fit Russian astronaut using a vibration technology to counter the deleterious effects of minimal gravity in space, or that of an obese person lying supine on a machine, effortlessly simulating exercise. Today both of these versions of reality are attainable. Technological advances, combined with the race to claim a portion of the global fitness industry equipment market, have made whole body vibration units accessible to a wider proportion of the population. In this paper we highlight the main findings in the research literature regarding the core features and technological elements of whole body vibration. We discuss the major variables informing the evidence-base of whether whole body vibration provides appropriate stimulation to provide efficacious fitness and therapeutic benefits. We analyse whether whole body vibration could be simply considered another fitness ‘fad’, adding to other unwanted, obsolete fitness machines destined for storage in the shed such as Abtrainers. Finally, research on the use of whole body vibration as a therapy for aging adults and those suffering from diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary or airways disease is reviewed to ascertain if modern, affordable machines provide opportunities for achieving physical improvements.
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