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Vibration plate exercise doesn't help bone health, despite claims

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Vibration plate machine no help for preventing osteoporosis.

Vibration plate exercises are popular. Studies also show they work to help tone and get rid of belly fat. But according to results of a new study, the vibrating exercise machines do nothing to help women prevent bone loss that leads to osteoporosis, despite claims.

In findings published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from University Health Network (UHN), postmenopausal women followed for one year. The researchers compared bone density in healthy women who used two different settings on whole body vibration machines to a control group of women given vitamin D, calcium and asked to eat a nutritious diet who did not use whole body vibration exercises.

Bone density measurements were taken at baseline and again at 12 months. The researchers measured bone structure and density in the hip and lumbar spine using energy X-ray dual-absorptiometry.

For the lower leg and forearm, high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT scans were utilized to measure bone density.

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The women, whose average age was 60, were compared after six months. Vibration exercises were performed at either 90 or 30 Hz.

The study found vibration plate exercise, which puts pressure on the bones from the feet upwards, did not result in any significant changes in either bone density or bone structure in the women, compared to those who didn’t use the exercise machines.

Dr. Angela Cheung, Director of the Osteoporosis Program at UHN, Director of the Centre of Excellence in Skeletal Health Assessment (CESHA), Lillian Love Chair in Women’s Health, and Associate Professor, University of Toronto suggests "Women would be farther ahead in making sure that they are exercising regularly and eating nutritious foods” to prevent osteoporosis.

Weight bearing exercises like walking are recommended to prevent osteoporosis that strikes one in two women after age 50. The condition can make women vulnerable to fractures, especially of the wrist, spine and hip.

Vibration plate exercises don’t take much effort, but are advertised to provide the same benefits as moderate to intense exercise.

The study shows vibration plate exercise won’t stop osteoporosis. According to Cheung, "Although researchers are seeking alternatives to time-consuming exercise to improve bone density, the results of this study suggest this specific therapy is not effective in improving bone density.”



This article is non-sense becasue it doesn't apply to 95% of the vibration machines that are sold on the market. The Media has a way of generalizing about an entire industry when one specific product is at fault. The machines tested here are low amplitude high frequency vibration machines hardly producing any force ( .3 Gs) as stated by researcher. The study quotes " Conclusion: Whole-body vibration therapy at 0.3g and 90 or 30 Hz for 12 months did not alter BMD or bone structure in postmenopausal women who received calcium and vitamin D supplementation." The researcher never specified about which type of WBV technology was tested. There are two types of vibration technologies offered by vibration machine manufactureres- Pivotal and Vertical. Pivotal machines such as Nitrofit and Galileo have higher amplitudes ( up to 13 mm) and produce a minimum of 4g's. So off the bat we know that this study didn't do the research on a pivotal machine. Reputable vertical machines on the market such as Power Plate and Wave produce a minumum of 2G's at frequencies of 30hz. None of the machines mentioned even go to 90hz becasue they would produce upwards of 50G's--which would kill anyone who stood on it. My guess is that this Canadian researcher tested the LIV Tablet from Marodyne wich from thier website states " Marodyne low intensity vibrations are a type of low-magnitude mechanical signal, delivered by an oscillating platform at a frequency of 30-90 cycles per second All im saying is-- the media and the researcher should specify which type of vibration and machine was used in the study rather than defaming an entire technology known as whole body vibration.