Skip Navigation LinksHome > April/June 2014 - Volume 37 - Issue 2 > Short-term Effects of Whole-Body Vibration on Functional Mob...
Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1519/JPT.0b013e318295dacd
Research Reports

Short-term Effects of Whole-Body Vibration on Functional Mobility and Flexibility in Healthy, Older Adults: A Randomized Crossover Study

Tsuji, Taishi MS1,2; Kitano, Naruki MS1,2; Tsunoda, Kenji PhD3; Himori, Erika MS1; Okura, Tomohiro PhD4; Tanaka, Kiyoji PhD4

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Abstract

Background and Purpose:

Whole-body vibration (WBV) training is a relatively new approach for enhancing muscle strength, physical performance, and flexibility. The aim of this study was to examine whether short-term WBV training by using the triple-plane vertical vibration device (ie, acceleration training [AT]) improves functional mobility and flexibility in healthy, older adults.

Methods:

Eighteen healthy, older adults (9 men and 9 women; mean age 69.1 years; standard deviation, 2.5 years) participated in this randomized, crossover study. Two static stretching positions, half-squatting and hamstrings stretching, were performed with (AT) and without (control [Con]) vibration stimulus (frequency, 40 Hz; amplitude, 2-4 mm). The intervention consisted of stretching for 30 seconds per set × 3 sets per position, alternating between the 2 stretching positions. The Timed Up and Go (TUG) test was measured to determine functional mobility, which is closely linked to lower extremity muscle function. Sit-and-Reach and Functional Reach tests were performed to evaluate flexibility.

Results:

Only the TUG test demonstrated a significant time × intervention interaction: TUG test results improved significantly immediately and 30 minutes after the AT but not after the Con intervention. We found significant main effects of time on the Sit-and-Reach and Functional Reach results. Furthermore, the improvement rates after the AT intervention were greater than the improvement rates after the Con intervention at the immediate and 30-minute posttests.

Conclusion:

Short-term WBV training by using the triple-plane vertical vibration device elicited a significantly larger improvement in functional mobility than training without WBV. The effect on flexibility was similar with and without vibration stimulus, but there was a greater tendency to improve with WBV training in healthy, older adults. In addition, these short-term effects were maintained for about 30 minutes.

© 2014 The Section on Geriatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association.

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