You have no doubt heard of vibration plates, probably from a late-night infomercial.
They are certainly nothing new, but do they work? Can they help give your weight loss and overall health a boost? Well, a new study published in the journal Endocrinology has found that they could.
In a study at Augusta University it was found that whole body vibration could mimic the benefits of exercise on muscle and bone health.
Lead researcher Meghan E. McGee-Lawrence, a cellular biologist had this to say:
“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 diabetes.”
What research was undertaken?
In the 12-week study mice were split into two groups, one of the groups consisted of healthy mice, with the second group containing mice that suffered from diabetes and obesity.
The reason the second group suffered from these issues is that they were deficient in leptin receptors, therefore could not sense fullness after eating.
Both groups were broken down further into three activity-based groups:
- 20 minutes of whole body vibration daily
- 45 minutes on a treadmill daily
- No exercise at all
What were the findings of the study?
At the conclusion of the study it was found that the healthy mice saw little benefit from the whole body vibration.
However, when compared to the obese mice, they had lost weight, increased muscle mass, reduced their insulin resistance and improved their bone strength.
“They were still heavier, with less bone and muscle than the healthy controls. But, we saw improvements in the diabetic mice treated with whole body vibration or exercise as compared to the sedentary diabetic mice.”
How does whole body vibration help?
When undergoing whole body vibration, for example when standing on a vibration plate, the forced movement makes your muscles repeatedly contract and relax.
This process can release numerous hormones that offer various benefits, including the hormone osteocalcin, which can enhance bone health.
“Every time you walk or run or stand on a vibrating platform, your bones are experiencing sheer stress and that sheer stress can change how those metabolically relevant hormones get released.”
Of course these findings are promising, but it is still in the early stages.
As there was little benefit gained from using whole body vibration on healthy mice, if you are currently healthy you may likely experience much benefit from it too.
Also, personally I would rather perform exercise than stand on a vibration plate, which is something that McGee-Lawrence agrees with too.
“If you are able to exercise, we’d still recommend exercise as a first choice option.”
At present there currently isn’t a viable alternative to diet and exercise if you wish to lose weight and become healthier overall.