A new study from Massey University’s School of Sport and Exercise says aging adults can benefit from Whole Body Vibration (WBV) therapy.
Senior tutor in life sciences Daniel Wadsworth and colleague Dr. Sally Lark have spent the past three years conducting research for the Frail Elderly Vibration Exercise Responses (FEVER) study. It included 117 rest home residents from 12 residences in the Wellington region.
Wadsworth said the participants, all aged 70 years and older, were chosen because they cannot do conventional exercise at a level that will benefit their health.
According to Wadsworth, the participants appeared to get the help they needed in many ways after taking part in the WBV exercise therapy.
“Participants reported increased strength, balance, falls-related confidence and overall quality of life,” said Wadsworth. It has the potential to enhance independence and quality of life, and is a cost-effective way of exercise delivery to a population who can’t exercise in traditional ways. WBV is proven to be a fantastic rehabilitative tool for building confidence in the long term.”
Along with no pain in the knees, increased sleep, and more confidence, one of the study’s participant’s movements improved so much to the point that he was released from the rest home and returned to autonomous living in the community. However, a caregiver aids him three times a day to help with tasks such as showering and making meals.
Unlike other research, the FEVER study gives a timeline of WBV exercise advantages. According to Wadsworth, after participants finished a 16-week training intervention, the advantages from the exercise remained for three to six months, which suggested that WBV exercises could be useful to aging lives and help boost confidence and enforce independence.
What This Means
Aging adults, including the frail elderly, can benefit from WBV exercises. They can increase confidence and independence, and can lead to a decrease of falls and fractures.
“Putting the balance back into ageing lives,” Massey University web site; http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=B2997430-9441-A66F-34CF-32A8715A334B.