Ever seen those machine where you stand or sit on them, and then they vibrate and shake you like crazy?
Those machines make your body experience a form of exercise called whole-body vibration (WBV). When you sit, stand or lay on a platform, it shakes your whole body and transmit the vibrations into your body. As a result, your muscles contract and relax multiple times during per second.
Does WBV really work? Well, according to reearchers at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia, it seems WBV may be as effective as regular exercise, at least in mice. The found specifically that WBV can mimic the muscle and bone health benefits of regular exercise in mice.
The study was published in the journal Endocrinology.
The researchers looked at two groups of 5-week-old male mice in their study. One group consisted of normal mice. The other group of mice were genetically predisposed to become obese (and also diabetic). The mice from each group were assigned to three activity types. One group were just sendentary and did no exercises. One group performed treadmill exercises. The other group experienced whole-body vibration.
The exercise period for the mice was for 12 weeks. The mice were weighed weekly.
Same Benefits as Regular Exercises
The researchers found that the genetically obese and diabetic mice showed similar metabolic benefits from both WBV and exercising on the treadmill. Mice that did the treadmill exercises or WBV gained less weight than the mice that were sedentary and did no exercises.
“Our study is the first to show that whole-body vibration may be just as effective as exercise at combatting some of the negative consequences of obesity and diabetes,” said the researchers.
We all know that regular exercises are good to maintain health and fitness. However, exercising does require commitment, and it’s challenging for many people to exercise on a consistent basis. WBV is a less strenuous form of exercise, and since the machine does most of the work, it can be more convenient to many people to do WBV on a regular basis.
As this study points out in mice, doing WBV can have be just as good as regular exercise when it comes to muscle and bone health benefits.
WBV’s effect on humans still need to be tested, but it seems promising. So if you ever seen people shaking while standing on these WBV machines, don’t laugh. They may be getting the benefits of regular exercise without the strenuous effort.
Why not get on one of the machines and see how it feels?
Meghan E. McGee-Lawrence Karl H. Wenger Sudipta Misra Catherine L. Davis Norman K. Pollock Mohammed Elsalanty Kehong Ding Carlos M. Isales Mark W. Hamrick Joanna R. Erion Marlena Wosiski-Kuhn Phonepasong Arounleut Mark P. Mattson Roy G. Cutler Jack C. Yu Alexis M. Stranahan. Whole-body Vibration Mimics the Metabolic Effects of Exercise in Male Leptin Receptor Deficient Mice. Endocrinology, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/en.2016-1250