Turns Out Standing on a Vibrating Platform Might Actually Work as Exercise

As we age, many of us find that we can’t walk or move around like we used to. While this can be explained in part as an unavoidable symptom of aging, a variety of illnesses, including Parkinson’s disease, sarcopenia, and osteoporosis, can also make it difficult for us to move.

Paradoxically, people with these conditions are often told that they should exercise, as it can strengthen their muscles and bones. But for someone who already finds it difficult to move around, it will be difficult to get the amount of exercise needed to see improvements. So the researchers have turned to a slightly less conventional solution, which could be as simple as standing on a vibrating platform.

Whole body vibration training It involves standing, sitting, or even lying down on a machine with a vibrating platform. While the person performs different strength or balance exercises, the machine emits vibrations at different frequencies, which usually range between 10 and 40 Hz.

As the platform vibrates, it stimulates the muscle fibers, causing them to contract and relax, sometimes up to 60 times per second. This makes the exercise the person is doing more effective.

The reason whole body vibration training is gaining interest is because it’s easier to do than regular exercise. This means that even people who can’t exercise normally can get benefits similar to those they would get from exercising. And for people who exercise regularly, it could provide additional health benefits, including enhanced strength and stability.

It is believed that whole body vibration training can improve physical function for many of the same reasons that exercise does. Research shows you can improve muscle and bone qualityincrease bone mineral density and even Improve communication between our muscles and the nervous system. Together, these changes make bones and muscles stronger and more efficient. This can reduce the risk of falls and fractures, and can even prevent diseases, such as sarcopeniadevelopment.

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Improve physical function

Researchers are currently looking at whole-body vibration training to improve physical function in various conditions.

For example, research shows that including whole-body vibration training in your regular exercise routine can help improve physical function if it has decreased due to aging. Even in people who don’t exercise regularly, do 15 minutes of whole-body vibration training three times a week improved physical function and decreased frailty compared to those who did not. These improvements were seen even up to 12 months after the study ended, while physical function continued to decline for participants who did not perform whole-body vibration training.

Whole body vibration training can also help people with neurological conditions that affect movement, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, career and spinal cord injury.

It is believed that because whole body vibration training increases neuromuscular activation, strengthens the connections between our muscles and our brain. This allows them to communicate more efficiently. motor function and proprioception (the body’s ability to feel movement) may improve as a result.

Whole body vibration training may also be helpful in preventing or improve osteoporosis. The vibrations create a electric charge in our bones that can help increase bone mineral density and even help form new bone cells. All of this works together to improve muscle strength and physical function.

But not all studies agree that whole-body vibration training has any effect on osteoporosis, suggesting that more research will be needed to see if it can actually improve musculoskeletal health.

training limitations

Although whole body vibration training has a lot of potential, it does have several limitations to consider.

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No study has shown whole body vibration training to have any negative effects, so it is largely it is believed to be safe. However, it is recommended that people with pacemakers, those who are pregnant or have a broken bone, and people with hip and knee replacements. avoid whole body vibration training.

There is also limited evidence at the moment of the effect of long-term repeated use of whole body vibration training, especially when performed at high frequencies. above 90Hz. We know from research on people who are exposed to severe vibration for prolonged periods (such as construction workers) that they may experience vascular, neurological and musculoskeletal problemslike back pain. Therefore, it will be important to further explore the safety of long-term, high-frequency whole-body vibration training. But since most training sessions are short and done at frequencies below 90 Hz, it’s probably safe during typical use.

Another limitation of whole body vibration training is simply that it is not used as often as it should be. This may be because health professionals are not aware of its benefits or because people do not have access to a machine.

It must also be said that whole body vibration training is not designed to replace traditional exercise in healthy people. But for people who find it difficult to exercise, especially if it’s because they’re less able to move, whole-body vibration training can provide benefits similar to those of exercise. Current research suggests that doing 15 minutes of full-body vibration training three times a week for more than six weeks is enough to see improvements in physical function for all.

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matthew farrowAssistant Professor in Anatomy and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Bradford and hope rose edwardsdoctoral candidate, University of Bradford

This article is republished from The conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the Original article.

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