Effects of whole body vibration on postural steadiness in an older population

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Journal Article
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 2009, 12 (4), pp. 440 - 444
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of vibration exercise on postural steadiness performance in a healthy, older population. Forty-three healthy, older participants (23 men and 20 women, aged 73.5 ± 4.5 yr) were randomly assigned to either a vibration group (VIB), an exercise without vibration group (EX) or a control group (CONT). The VIB and EX groups undertook static and dynamic bodyweight exercises three times per week for eight weeks. Static balance was assessed using a one-legged postural steadiness (OLPS) test. This test was performed prior to and immediately after the training period. OLPS improved significantly for the VIB intervention after eight weeks training (p < 0.05) compared to the EX and CONT groups. The improvements in OLPS were significantly affected by the baseline values, with the largest changes evident for VIB participants with a poorer initial score (p < 0.01). Vibration exercise can contribute to improved static one-legged balance in a healthy, older population. As improvements in OLPS were related to baseline values, vibration exercise as an intervention would appear to serve the most benefit for those that exhibit diminished postural control. © 2008 Sports Medicine Australia.
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