The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of whole-body vibration (WBV) exercise training on arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity [PWV]), blood pressure (BP), and leg muscle function in postmenopausal women.
Twenty-five postmenopausal women with prehypertension and hypertension (mean [SE]; age, 56  y; systolic BP, 139  mm Hg; body mass index, 34.7 [0.8] kg/m2) were randomized to 12 weeks of WBV exercise training (n = 13) or to the no-exercise control group. Systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure, heart rate, carotid-femoral PWV, brachial-ankle PWV, femoral-ankle PWV (legPWV), leg lean mass, and leg muscle strength were measured before and after 12 weeks.
There was a group-by-time interaction (P < 0.05) for arterial stiffness, BP, and strength as brachial-ankle PWV (−1.3 [0.3] m/s, P < 0.01), legPWV (−0.81 [0.22] m/s, P < 0.01), systolic BP (−12  mm Hg, P < 0.01), diastolic BP (−6  mm Hg, P < 0.01), and mean arterial pressure (−9  mm Hg, P < 0.01) decreased and as strength increased (21.0% [2.2%], P < 0.001) after WBV exercise training compared with no change after control. Heart rate decreased (−3  beats/min, P < 0.05) after WBV exercise training, but there was no interaction (P > 0.05). Leg lean mass and carotid-femoral PWV were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by WBV exercise training or control.
Our findings indicate that WBV exercise training improves systemic and leg arterial stiffness, BP, and leg muscle strength in postmenopausal women with prehypertension or hypertension. WBV exercise training may decrease cardiovascular and disability risks in postmenopausal women by reducing legPWV and increasing leg muscle strength.