This article originally appeared on Time.com.?
For years, companies happen to be hawking vibration like a type of exercise-from those fat-jiggling waist belts in the ’80s to the vibrating platforms present in many gyms today. Now, a new study in mice suggests there might be some truth to the idea that a vibrating machine might be able to deliver some of the same benefits as bodily activity.
The new information, published in the journal Endocrinology, discovered that mice with diabetes and obesity had similar improvements in muscle tissue and insulin sensitivity over 3 months once they were assigned to either Forty-five minutes of daily treadmill walking or 20 minutes of daily whole-body vibration. Both groups gained less weight and improved more in all around health than sedentary mice that received neither intervention.
Whole-body vibration consists of a person (or, within the study’s case, a mouse) sitting, standing or lying on the platform. The platform’s vibrations send tiny shockwaves with the body, causing muscles to relax and contract many times per second.
The obese mice within the study also had low bone density, a common side effect of excess weight both in animals and humans. While treadmill exercise did improve this measure over 12 weeks, the vibration technique didn’t. Both interventions did, however, increase amounts of a protein involved with bone formation, suggesting that longer-term treatments could potentially assist in preventing future bone loss.
Vibration isn’t a cure-all for the problems related to sedentary life, say the study authors, and results observed in mice don’t necessarily translate to humans. Before vibration-based treatments could be widely recommended, these results will have to be replicated in clinical trials. (A 2009 study found that vibration platforms helped obese people lose excess fat, but other metabolic benefits happen to be less studied in people.)
The authors also explain the study was designed to test the advantages of vibration on obese, unhealthy mice for whom regular exercise is difficult. Young, healthy mice, who were included as well in the study, didn’t reap the same advantages of the whole-body vibration.
Lead author Meghan McGee-Lawrence, assistant professor of cellular biology and anatomy at Augusta University, says that vibration therapy might be an ideal way to help individuals who’re extremely overweight or have other limitations that have them from regular physical activity.
“If you are able to exercise, we’d still recommend exercise like a first choice option,” says McGee-Lawrence. However for people who find it hard to work out inside a traditional way, “our study suggests it may be easy to obtain a few of the same beneficial effects of exercise in a different, less strenuous way.”
For vibration to have these benefits, though, a lot of things need to be just right. “The frequency and magnitude from the stimulus, and how long it’s applied, need to be optimized to offer the outcome you desire,” says McGee-Lawrence. You’ll be able to have too a good thing, she adds. Contact with higher-level vibration in occupational settings, for example, can actually possess a harmful impact on bone.
Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise, says that advantages of whole-body vibration are “100% legit.” Vibration platforms can be used for exercise warm-ups, cool-downs or certain moves like squats, planks and Pilates poses.
“When you’re on a single of those platforms, the oscillations add gravity and force, that are vital for building strength,” he states. For people who are extremely overweight or too out of shape to exercise safely and comfortably, he adds, vibration training can “introduce exercise towards the body in a relatively low-stress environment.”
“Standing on the vibrating platform for 5, 10, Fifteen minutes can actually make cells stronger, maybe help them lose just a little weight, and obtain them better ready to eventually start exercising,” he states.
The American Council on Exercise warns that whole-body vibration machines may affect pacemakers and other electronic implants, and that women that are pregnant and a person with past seizures, tumors or thrombosis should avoid using them.
For generally healthy people, McCall stresses that they should be used like a supplement to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, not a replacement. “There’s no additional interest in oxygen, therefore the lungs and heart don’t have to work any harder,” he highlights. “It’s not going to provide you with the important cardiovascular benefits that real exercise will.”