Whole-body vibration (WBV) could help prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to research.
WBV is a technique that involves standing, sitting or lying on a vibrating platform which transmits energy through the body, making the muscles contract and relax repeatedly.
In this new study, Augusta University researchers used mice to investigate whether regular WBV would produce similar benefits to exercise.
The animals were split into three different groups, receiving 20 of WBV per day, 45 minutes of exercise, or no exercise at all. The mice were followed for 12 weeks and weighed every seven days.
The findings showed there were similar weight loss benefits in the WBV and exercise group. Other benefits included greater muscle mass and improved insulin sensitivity.
Dr Meghan McGee-Lawrence, who led the research, said: “Our study is the first to show that whole-body vibration may be just as effective as exercise at combating some of the negative consequences of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
“While WBV did not fully address the defects in bone mass of the obese mice in our study, it did increase global bone formatio, suggesting longer-term treatments could hold promise for preventing bone loss as well.”
It is thought the WBV technique could potentially help some people in the future who are unable to exercise regularly, such as those with diabetic neuropathy.
But McGee-Lawrence noted that WBV is not suitable for replacing exercise as it doesn’t provide the cardiovascular or respiratory benefits of physical activity.
She added: “Because our study was conducted in mice, this idea needs to be rigorously tested in humans to see if the results would be applicable to people.”
The findings appear online in the Endocrinology journal.

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