We’ve already discussed how Whole Body Vibration (WBV) helps with Parkinson’s Disease, how it helps to lose weight, and a growing array of additional benefits (see full list of WBV benefits), but there’s new research all the time that has us continually revisiting how the body reacts in different ways to the vibration treatment.
A recent study (PDF) from The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy found that the benefits of WBV treatment in particular affected vertical jump, power, balance, and agility in positive ways, particularly among “untrained adults.” The purpose of this study was to “investigate the acute effects of whole body vibration on vertical jump, power, balance, and agility for untrained males and females.”
During the study, 20 males and 16 females with an average age of 24.5 years were assessed for vertical jump height and power as measured by the Myotest accelerometer, balance as measured by the NeuroCom Balance Master System, and agility as measured by a modified T-test. Each session consisted of a five-minute treadmill warm-up, a practice test, a baseline measurement, a two-minute rest period, whole body vibration at 2 mm and 30 Hz for 60 seconds, and a final measurement. Three different counterbalanced testing sessions were separated by a minimum of 48 hours in between sessions to minimize fatigue.
The final results of the study found that “significant differences existed” for both enders with regard to “main effect of time for Agility (p = 0.022); end point excursion Left (p = 0.007); and maximum endpoint excursion Left (p = 0.039).” The study also found that “females performed better than males in the following respects: end point excursion Right (p = 0.035); end point excursion Left (p = 0.014); maximum endpoint excursion Right (p = 0.024); and maximum endpoint excursion Left (p = 0.005)” while males outperformed females in Agility (p < 0.0005) and Power (p < 0.0005). Meanwhile a "significant interaction was observed between time and gender for vertical jump (p = 0.020). Simple main effects revealed males jumped higher than females during both pre and post intervention, p < 0.0005. Females had a significant decrease in the vertical jump post intervention (p = 0.05)." To summarize, whole body vibration produced significant differences in the main effect of time and agility, and end point and maximum end point excursion Left for both genders. Females performed better in balance compared to males and poorer in vertical jump, but males performed better in agility and power.