Improving Balance

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Jul;88(7):852-7.

High-frequency whole-body vibration improves balancing ability in elderly women.

Cheung WH, Mok HW, Qin L, Sze PC, Lee KM, Leung KS.
Source:  Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy of high-frequency whole-body vibration (WBV) on balancing ability in elderly women.

DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial. Subjects were randomized to either the WBV intervention or the no-treatment control group.

SETTING:  Community-living elderly women.

PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-nine elderly women aged 60 or above without habitual exercise.

INTERVENTION: Side alternating WBV at 20Hz with 3 minutes a day and 3 days a week for 3 months in the WBV intervention group. Those in control group remained sedentary with normal daily life for the whole study period.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Limits of stability in terms of reaction time, movement velocity, directional control, endpoint excursion, maximum excursion, and the functional reach test were performed at baseline and endpoint.

RESULTS: Significant enhancement of stability was detected in movement velocity (P<.01), maximum point excursion (P<.01), in directional control (P<.05).

CONCLUSIONS: WBV was effective in improving the balancing ability in elderly women. This also provides evidence to support our user-friendly WBV treatment protocol of 3 minutes a day for the elderly to maintain their balancing ability and reduce risks of fall.

PMID: 17601464