Effects of Whole Body Vibration on Muscle Strength and Quality of Life in Health Elderly: A Meta-Analysis

Efeitos da Vibração de Corpo Inteiro na Força Muscular e Qualidade de Vida em Idosos Saudáveis: Uma Meta-análise

Abstract

Introduction:

The literature presents different findings about the vibration training efficacy on muscle per- formance, even using protocols with similar parameters.

Objective:

The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the effects of whole body vibration (WBV) on strength and quality of life in health elderly people, presenting a meta-analisys.

Methods:

PubMed, CINAHL, SciELO, LILACS and PEDro databases were systematically searched for studies that used WBV in healthy elderly. These searches were supplemented with material identified in references and a qualitative and quantitative analysis was performed to sum- marize the findings. The search was performed by two independent researchers with a third was selected to solve problems of search disagreement, data collection, and quality score.

Results:

Nine studies with strength outcome and two studies with quality of life outcome were identified, with sample ranging 21 to 220 elderly, all studies had control groups performing exercises or guidelines. Some studies have shown sig- nificant improvements in muscle strength, muscle power, vertical jump height, timed get up and go test and quality of life.

Conclusion:

The meta-analysis of the findings in these studies shows that WBV could benefit health elderly, increasing muscle strength and improving the quality of life mainly in functional capacity. The number of publications found in the databanks searched is small, with limitations in design of protocols with a weakness to the interpretation of the findings, suggesting the need of investigation with WBV with well-designed protocols and controlled parameters into the effects of WBV training in elderly people.

Keywords:
Whole Body Vibration; Muscle Strength; Quality of life; Aged

Resumo

Introdução:

A literatura apresenta diferentes resultados sobre a eficácia do treinamento da vibração de corpo inteiro sobre o desempenho muscular, mesmo utilizando protocolos com parâmetros semelhantes.

Objetivo:

O objetivo desta revisão sistemática foi investigar os efeitos da vibração de corpo inteiro (VCI) sobre a força e a qualidade de vida em idosos saudáveis, apresentando uma meta-análise.

Métodos:

A busca ocorreu nas bases de dados PubMed, CINAHL, SciELO, Lilacs e Pedro visando estudos sobre o uso de WBV em idosos saudáveis. Essas pesquisas foram complementadas com material identificado nas referências e foi realizada uma análise quali-quantitativa resumindo os resultados. A pesquisa foi realizada por dois pesquisadores independentes, com um terceiro sendo selecionado para resolver problemas de desacordo na busca, coleta de dados e índice de qualidade.

Resultados:

Foram identificados nove estudos com desfecho força e dois estudos com desfechos na qualidade de vida, com amostras entre 21-220 idosos, todos com grupo controle recebendo orientações ou realizando outro tipo de exercício. Alguns estudos mostraram melhorias significativas da força e desempenho musculares, da altura do salto vertical, do teste Timed Up and Go e da qualidade de vida.

Conclusão:

A meta-análise dos resultados destes estudos indicam que VCI pode beneficiar idosos saudáveis, aumentando a força muscular e melhorando a qualidade de vida, principalmente na capacidade funcional. O número de publica- ções encontradas nas bases de dados pesquisadas foi pequeno, com limitações na concepção de protocolos com uma fragilidade na interpretação dos achados, sugerindo a necessidade de investigação da VCI com protocolos melhor desenhados e com parâmetros controlados na WBV em idosos.

Palavras-Chave:
Vibração de Corpo Inteiro; Força Muscular; Qualidade de Vida; Idosos

Introduction

Vibration is a fast and oscillatory movement11 Hiroshige K, Mahbub MH, Harada N. Effects of whole-body vibration on postural balance and proprioception in healthy young and elderly subjects: a randomized cross-over study. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2014;54(2):216-24.. It was first used therapeutically in the Soviet Union, in the prevention of hypotonia in cosmonauts. Initially used in segmental form, it evolved to the vibration of the whole body with the use of machines22 Lora MH, Granados SR, Corrales BS, Páez LC. Efecto de una sesión con vibraciones mecánicas sobre la capacidad de salto. Rev Int Med Cienc Act Fís Deporte. 2009;9(36):366-78., with overall effect.

The Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is an alternative for resistance exercises33 Tseng SY, Lai CL, Chang KL, Hsu PS, Lee MC, Wang CH. Influence of Whole-Body Vibration Training Without Visual Feedback on Balance and Lower-Extremity Muscle Strength of the Elderly: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016;95(5):e2709.), (44 Bogaerts A, Delecluse C, Claessens AL Troosters T, Boonen S, Verschueren SM. Effects of whole body vibration training on cardiorespiratory ?tness and muscle strength in older individuals (a 1-year randomized controlled trial). Age Ageing. 2009;38(4):448-54.), (55 Esmaeilzadeh S, Akpinar M, Polat S, Yildiz A, Oral A. The effects of two different frequencies of whole- body vibration on knee extensors strength in healthy young volunteers: a randomized trial. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2015;15(4):333-40., since stimulates muscle receptors through the vibratory tonic reflex44 Bogaerts A, Delecluse C, Claessens AL Troosters T, Boonen S, Verschueren SM. Effects of whole body vibration training on cardiorespiratory ?tness and muscle strength in older individuals (a 1-year randomized controlled trial). Age Ageing. 2009;38(4):448-54.), (66 Lora MH, Corrales BS, Páez LC. Respuesta cardiovascular y respiratoria aguda derivada de la aplicación de estímulos vibratorios de diferente magnitud. Apunts Med Esport. 2010;45(165):23-30.. This reflex is triggered by the oscillation of muscles and tendons, which causes small and fast changes in the muscle-tendon unit length. These changes are then detected by muscle spindles, which try to avoid muscle stretching by a reflex muscle contraction66 Lora MH, Corrales BS, Páez LC. Respuesta cardiovascular y respiratoria aguda derivada de la aplicación de estímulos vibratorios de diferente magnitud. Apunts Med Esport. 2010;45(165):23-30..

The high frequency and low amplitude vibration increases the gravitational force by changes in acceleration77 Cardinale M, Pope MH. The effects of whole body vibration on humans: dangerous or advantageous? Acta Physiol Hung. 2003;90(3):195-206. benefiting bone morphology and promoting muscle toning88 Copley SJ1, Wells AU, Hawtin KE, Gibson DJ, Hodson JM, Jacques AE, et al. Lung Morphology in the Elderly: Comparative CT Study of Subjects over 75 Years Old versus Those under 55 Years Old. Radiology. 2009;251(2):566-73.. This mode of vibration can be used by groups with reduced tonus and mobility, as the elderly77 Cardinale M, Pope MH. The effects of whole body vibration on humans: dangerous or advantageous? Acta Physiol Hung. 2003;90(3):195-206..

The aging process triggers a muscle, joint, and bone degradation process99 Nilwik R, Snijders T, Leenders M, Groen BB, van Kranenburg J, Verdijk LB, et al. The decline in skeletal muscle mass with aging is mainly attributed to a reduction in type II muscle fiber size. Exp Gerontol. 2013;48(5):492-8.), (1010 Hsu B, Cumming RG, Seibel MJ, Naganathan V, Blyth FM, Bleicher K, et al. Reproductive Hormones and Longitudinal Change in Bone Mineral Density and Incident Fracture Risk in Older Men: The Concord Health and Aging in Men Project. J Bone Miner Res. 2015;30(9):1701-8., reducing muscle mass and strength up to 40% after the 40th life year1111 Keller K, Engelhardt M. Strength and muscle mass loss with aging process. Age and strength loss. Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2014;3(4):346-50.. Although resistance exercises is the treatment of choice for the reduction of sarcopenia and increase of strength, it is considered a relatively aggressive training for the elderly, due to its wide range of motion and the risk of fractures and strains1212 Hughes JM, Charkoudian N, Barnes JN, Morgan BJ. Revisiting the Debate: Does Exercise Build Strong Bones in the Mature and Senescent Skeleton? Front Physiol. 2016;7:369.. WBV reduces the risks of weight-lifting training1313 Merriman H, Jackson, K. The effects of whole-body vibration training in aging adults: a systematic review. J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2009;32(3):134-45., although its effects are still poorly documented and little assessment has been done on the impact on the elderly’s quality of life.

Systematic reviews about the specific effects of vibration on bone density1414 Mikhael M, Orr R, Singh MAF. The effect of whole body vibration exposure on muscle or bone morphology and function in older adults: a systematic review of the literature. Maturitas. 2010;66(2):150-7.), (1515 Slatkovska L, Alibhai SMH, Beyene J, Cheung AM. Effect of whole-body vibration on BMD: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Osteoporos Int. 2010;21(12):1969-80.), (1616 Delecluse C, Roelants M, Verschueren SM. Strength Increases after whole-body vibration compared with resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35(6):1033-41., balance, strength, walk ability and functional mobility of the elderly are found in the literature1414 Mikhael M, Orr R, Singh MAF. The effect of whole body vibration exposure on muscle or bone morphology and function in older adults: a systematic review of the literature. Maturitas. 2010;66(2):150-7.), (1515 Slatkovska L, Alibhai SMH, Beyene J, Cheung AM. Effect of whole-body vibration on BMD: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Osteoporos Int. 2010;21(12):1969-80.), (1616 Delecluse C, Roelants M, Verschueren SM. Strength Increases after whole-body vibration compared with resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35(6):1033-41.), (1717 Lindberg J, Carlsson J. The effects of whole-body vibration training on gait and walking ability: a systematic review comparing two quality indexes. Physiother Theory Pract. 2012;28(7):485-98.. Although the latter has made a summarized assessment on muscle performance, it does not present a meta-analysis. The literature presents different findings about the vibration training efficacy on muscle performance, even using protocols with similar parameters1414 Mikhael M, Orr R, Singh MAF. The effect of whole body vibration exposure on muscle or bone morphology and function in older adults: a systematic review of the literature. Maturitas. 2010;66(2):150-7.), (1515 Slatkovska L, Alibhai SMH, Beyene J, Cheung AM. Effect of whole-body vibration on BMD: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Osteoporos Int. 2010;21(12):1969-80.), (1616 Delecluse C, Roelants M, Verschueren SM. Strength Increases after whole-body vibration compared with resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35(6):1033-41.), (1717 Lindberg J, Carlsson J. The effects of whole-body vibration training on gait and walking ability: a systematic review comparing two quality indexes. Physiother Theory Pract. 2012;28(7):485-98..

The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the effects of WBV on muscle strength and quality of life on healthy elderly people, presenting a meta-analysis.

Methods

Randomized or quasi-randomized clinical trials that assessing the vibrating platform effects on muscle strength or quality of life, in healthy aged 65 or over, both sexes were included, without linguistic or date restrictions. The search was performed by two independent researchers between December 15th to December to March 10th with pre-determined keywords and word crossing. The data were compared between researches, observing material disparity, inclusion/exclusion disagreement, and duplicity of studies. A third researcher was selected to solve problems of search disagreement, data collection, and score quality.

Search Strategy

The research was performed in the PubMed databases via Medline, Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature (LILACS), Cumulative Index to Nurse and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), with adjustments in each database, including the following MeSH descriptors: (i) “Muscle Strength”, (ii) “Aged” and (iii) “Quality of life”. “Whole-body vibration” or variations, like “Whole body vibration” or “WBV”, does not appear in MeSH and it was inserted as keyword in search.

The strategy used the following variations according to the databases: (muscle strength OR strength OR force OR força OR fuerza) AND (aged OR elderly OR idosos OR ancianos) AND (quality of life OR qualidade de vida OR calidad de vida) AND (whole-body vibration OR whole body vibration OR WBV OR vibração de corpo inteiro OR vibraciones de cuerpo).

Inclusion Criteria for Publication Selection

Controlled and randomized or quasi-randomized clinical trials were analyzed. The potentially eligible studies were assessed by title and abstract, observing strength by dynamometry or quality of life outcome by validated scales.

The WBV training was defined as global sinusoidal vibrations in any axis, non-stochastic, without restrictions on frequency, amplitude, magnitude and dosage1818 International Standards Organization. Mechanical Vibration and Shock - Evaluation of Human Exposure to Whole Body Vibration. Part 1: General Requirements. International In: Standard ISO 2631-Genève, Switzerland: International Standards Organization; 1997.. The control groups could exercise freely or be oriented. Were excluded studies with subjects diagnosed with any pathology, that using medication for increase muscle strength or follow-up studies.

Qualification of Studies

The qualification of the studies used on The Cochrane Collaboration Reviewers’ Handbook, version 5.1.01919 Higgins J, Green S (editors). Cochrane’s handbook for systematic reviews of interventions. Version 5.0.1. Oxford: Cochrane Collaboration; 2008. that evaluates the risk assessment as high, low, or unclear bias, according to the methodological descriptions in each study. The assessed domains in papers were: selection (sequence random generation and allocation concealment), implementation (blinding of participants and evaluators), detection (blinding of each outcome), attrition (assessment of incomplete data), and data reporting (selective information). For judgment, the non-citation of process was considered as high risk, citation without clarification as obscure risk, and operation, description citation as low risk. The scores were independently measured by the researchers and compared.

Data Extraction and Analysis

The data extraction was independently done by the researchers, containing: title, author, year, number of participants, eligibility criteria, group characteristics, exclusions, intervention, and measurement of results. The data was summarized in tables and compared, being combined in a meta-analysis of fixed effect evaluation, after application of the Q Cochran Test1919 Higgins J, Green S (editors). Cochrane’s handbook for systematic reviews of interventions. Version 5.0.1. Oxford: Cochrane Collaboration; 2008. for heterogeneity.

Results

Qualitative Synthesis

From the 1912 potentially eligible titles, 1893 were excluded for not filling the inclusion criteria. From the remaining 19, after abstract or text reading, seven were excluded for duplicates, different outcomes, follow-up studies and presence of neuromuscular disease. One more study, Bogaerts, 2007, was excluded for using same sample as Bogaerts, 2009. From the remaining, nine studies verified outcome strength and two verified quality of life outcome (Figure 1).

Figure 1
Search and selection of studies for systematic review in accordance with PRISMA.

Strength Outcome

Among the nine studies, four were randomized with method description, four were called randomized but with no description and one was considered quasi-randomized. All of them had active or passive control group. Three studies were self-called blind, with only one describing the method. The studies were performed in Germany2020 von Stengel S, Kemmler W, Engelke K, Kalender WA. Effect of whole-body vibration on neuromuscular performance and body composition for females 65 years and older: a randomized-controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2012;22(1):119-27., Australia2121 Rees SS, Murphy AJ, Watsford ML. Effects of whole-body vibration exercise on lower-extremity muscle strength and power in an older population: a randomized clinical trial. Phys Ther. 2008;88(4):462-70., Belgium44 Bogaerts A, Delecluse C, Claessens AL Troosters T, Boonen S, Verschueren SM. Effects of whole body vibration training on cardiorespiratory ?tness and muscle strength in older individuals (a 1-year randomized controlled trial). Age Ageing. 2009;38(4):448-54.), (2222 Roelants M, Delecluse C, Verschueren SM. Whole- body-vibration training increases knee-extension strength and speed of movement in older women. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004;52(6):901-8.), (2323 Verschueren SM, Roelants M, Delecluse C, Swinnen S, Vanderschueren D, Boonen S. Effect of 6-month whole body vibration training on hip density, muscle strength, and postural control in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled pilot study. J Bone Miner Res. 2004;19(3):352-9.), (2424 Bautmans I, Hees E, Lemper J, Mets T. The feasibility of whole body vibration in institutionalised elderly persons and its influence on muscle performance, balance and mobility: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Geriatr. 2005;5:17., Brazil2525 Silva RG, Andreotti R, Gehring PR, Nunes MES, Wallerstein L, Fonseca MCO, et al. Efeito do treinamento vibratório na força e em testes funcionais em idosos físicamente ativos. Rev Bras Cineantropom Desempenho Hum. 2009;11(2):166-73., Spain2626 Machado A, García-López L, González-Gallego J, Garatachea N. Whole-body vibration training increases muscle strength and mass in older women: a randomized-controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sport. 2010;20(2):200-7., and Portugal2727 Raimundo AM, Gusi N, Tomas-Carus P. Fitness efficacy of vibratory exercise compared to walking in postmenopausal women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;106(5):741-8.. The population was only female2020 von Stengel S, Kemmler W, Engelke K, Kalender WA. Effect of whole-body vibration on neuromuscular performance and body composition for females 65 years and older: a randomized-controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2012;22(1):119-27.), (2222 Roelants M, Delecluse C, Verschueren SM. Whole- body-vibration training increases knee-extension strength and speed of movement in older women. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004;52(6):901-8.), (2323 Verschueren SM, Roelants M, Delecluse C, Swinnen S, Vanderschueren D, Boonen S. Effect of 6-month whole body vibration training on hip density, muscle strength, and postural control in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled pilot study. J Bone Miner Res. 2004;19(3):352-9.), (2626 Machado A, García-López L, González-Gallego J, Garatachea N. Whole-body vibration training increases muscle strength and mass in older women: a randomized-controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sport. 2010;20(2):200-7.), (2727 Raimundo AM, Gusi N, Tomas-Carus P. Fitness efficacy of vibratory exercise compared to walking in postmenopausal women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;106(5):741-8., only male44 Bogaerts A, Delecluse C, Claessens AL Troosters T, Boonen S, Verschueren SM. Effects of whole body vibration training on cardiorespiratory ?tness and muscle strength in older individuals (a 1-year randomized controlled trial). Age Ageing. 2009;38(4):448-54., or both genders2121 Rees SS, Murphy AJ, Watsford ML. Effects of whole-body vibration exercise on lower-extremity muscle strength and power in an older population: a randomized clinical trial. Phys Ther. 2008;88(4):462-70.), (2424 Bautmans I, Hees E, Lemper J, Mets T. The feasibility of whole body vibration in institutionalised elderly persons and its influence on muscle performance, balance and mobility: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Geriatr. 2005;5:17.), (2525 Silva RG, Andreotti R, Gehring PR, Nunes MES, Wallerstein L, Fonseca MCO, et al. Efeito do treinamento vibratório na força e em testes funcionais em idosos físicamente ativos. Rev Bras Cineantropom Desempenho Hum. 2009;11(2):166-73.. The sample sizes ranged from 16 to 220 people and the intervention length was from 1 1/2 to 12 months (Figure 2).

Figure 2
GRADE of the studies.

The WBV protocol varied in frequency and dosage. The interventions occurred twice a week, being in some studies three times a week44 Bogaerts A, Delecluse C, Claessens AL Troosters T, Boonen S, Verschueren SM. Effects of whole body vibration training on cardiorespiratory ?tness and muscle strength in older individuals (a 1-year randomized controlled trial). Age Ageing. 2009;38(4):448-54.), (2121 Rees SS, Murphy AJ, Watsford ML. Effects of whole-body vibration exercise on lower-extremity muscle strength and power in an older population: a randomized clinical trial. Phys Ther. 2008;88(4):462-70.), (2222 Roelants M, Delecluse C, Verschueren SM. Whole- body-vibration training increases knee-extension strength and speed of movement in older women. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004;52(6):901-8.), (2323 Verschueren SM, Roelants M, Delecluse C, Swinnen S, Vanderschueren D, Boonen S. Effect of 6-month whole body vibration training on hip density, muscle strength, and postural control in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled pilot study. J Bone Miner Res. 2004;19(3):352-9.), (2727 Raimundo AM, Gusi N, Tomas-Carus P. Fitness efficacy of vibratory exercise compared to walking in postmenopausal women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;106(5):741-8.. Vibration amplitudes ranged from 02 to 10 mm. Strength was measured with an isokinetic dynamometer and in two studies also with a handgrip2020 von Stengel S, Kemmler W, Engelke K, Kalender WA. Effect of whole-body vibration on neuromuscular performance and body composition for females 65 years and older: a randomized-controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2012;22(1):119-27.), (2424 Bautmans I, Hees E, Lemper J, Mets T. The feasibility of whole body vibration in institutionalised elderly persons and its influence on muscle performance, balance and mobility: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Geriatr. 2005;5:17.. Two studies did not present increase in strength outcome2424 Bautmans I, Hees E, Lemper J, Mets T. The feasibility of whole body vibration in institutionalised elderly persons and its influence on muscle performance, balance and mobility: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Geriatr. 2005;5:17.), (2727 Raimundo AM, Gusi N, Tomas-Carus P. Fitness efficacy of vibratory exercise compared to walking in postmenopausal women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;106(5):741-8.. The remaining studies obtained significant increases in relation to the control groups, regardless these being active or passive.

Besides the strength outcome, the studies analyzed other variables such as functional capacity2424 Bautmans I, Hees E, Lemper J, Mets T. The feasibility of whole body vibration in institutionalised elderly persons and its influence on muscle performance, balance and mobility: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Geriatr. 2005;5:17.), (2525 Silva RG, Andreotti R, Gehring PR, Nunes MES, Wallerstein L, Fonseca MCO, et al. Efeito do treinamento vibratório na força e em testes funcionais em idosos físicamente ativos. Rev Bras Cineantropom Desempenho Hum. 2009;11(2):166-73.), (2626 Machado A, García-López L, González-Gallego J, Garatachea N. Whole-body vibration training increases muscle strength and mass in older women: a randomized-controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sport. 2010;20(2):200-7.), (2727 Raimundo AM, Gusi N, Tomas-Carus P. Fitness efficacy of vibratory exercise compared to walking in postmenopausal women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;106(5):741-8., cardiopulmonary function44 Bogaerts A, Delecluse C, Claessens AL Troosters T, Boonen S, Verschueren SM. Effects of whole body vibration training on cardiorespiratory ?tness and muscle strength in older individuals (a 1-year randomized controlled trial). Age Ageing. 2009;38(4):448-54., frequency of falls2020 von Stengel S, Kemmler W, Engelke K, Kalender WA. Effect of whole-body vibration on neuromuscular performance and body composition for females 65 years and older: a randomized-controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2012;22(1):119-27., muscle power2121 Rees SS, Murphy AJ, Watsford ML. Effects of whole-body vibration exercise on lower-extremity muscle strength and power in an older population: a randomized clinical trial. Phys Ther. 2008;88(4):462-70.), (2222 Roelants M, Delecluse C, Verschueren SM. Whole- body-vibration training increases knee-extension strength and speed of movement in older women. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004;52(6):901-8.), (2323 Verschueren SM, Roelants M, Delecluse C, Swinnen S, Vanderschueren D, Boonen S. Effect of 6-month whole body vibration training on hip density, muscle strength, and postural control in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled pilot study. J Bone Miner Res. 2004;19(3):352-9. and hip bone mineral density2323 Verschueren SM, Roelants M, Delecluse C, Swinnen S, Vanderschueren D, Boonen S. Effect of 6-month whole body vibration training on hip density, muscle strength, and postural control in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled pilot study. J Bone Miner Res. 2004;19(3):352-9..

None of the studies reported adaptation difficulties or adverse effects related to WBV. The dropouts were due to external causes such as holidays or address change, liver cancer, breast surgery or placing of knee prosthesis. Most of the studies had a pre-treatment series for demonstration and adaptation to the WBV.

Quality of Life Outcome

The two selected studies were classified as controlled and randomized, although none of them have described the allocation method. The studies were performed in Belgium2828 Bruyere O, Wuidart MA, Di Palma E, Gourlay M, Ethgen O, Richy F, et al. Controlled whole body vibration to decrease fall risk and improve health-related quality of life of nursing home residents. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005;86(2):303-7. and Australia2929 Furness TP, Maschette WE. Influence of whole body vibration platform frequency on neuromuscular performance of community-dwelling older adults. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(5):1508-13.. Both studies had male and female participants. The first lasted for 06 weeks and had 42 individuals2828 Bruyere O, Wuidart MA, Di Palma E, Gourlay M, Ethgen O, Richy F, et al. Controlled whole body vibration to decrease fall risk and improve health-related quality of life of nursing home residents. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005;86(2):303-7., while the second lasted for 12 weeks and had 73 individuals2929 Furness TP, Maschette WE. Influence of whole body vibration platform frequency on neuromuscular performance of community-dwelling older adults. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(5):1508-13..

The WBV protocol varied in the studies regarding the frequency dosage. In the first study2828 Bruyere O, Wuidart MA, Di Palma E, Gourlay M, Ethgen O, Richy F, et al. Controlled whole body vibration to decrease fall risk and improve health-related quality of life of nursing home residents. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005;86(2):303-7., both groups performed exercises for stretching, gait and balance, transfer, and resistance for the lower limbs. In addition, the treatment group performed WBV three times a week, with four series alternating one minute of vibration and 90 seconds of rest. In the first and third series, the frequency was 10 Hz with amplitude of 03 mm. In the second and fourth series, the frequency was 26 HZ with amplitude of 07 mm. In the second study2929 Furness TP, Maschette WE. Influence of whole body vibration platform frequency on neuromuscular performance of community-dwelling older adults. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(5):1508-13., the subjects were randomized for performing zero, one, two or three weekly sessions in a WBV prototype constructed by the researchers, with amplitude of 0,5 mm and frequency of 15 to 25Hz.

In both studies, the quality of life assessment was performed with The Short Form Health Survey (SF 36), which works with eight domains: vitality, physical functioning, bodily pain, general health perceptions, physical role functioning, emotional role functioning, social role functioning and mental health. Bruyere et al.2828 Bruyere O, Wuidart MA, Di Palma E, Gourlay M, Ethgen O, Richy F, et al. Controlled whole body vibration to decrease fall risk and improve health-related quality of life of nursing home residents. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005;86(2):303-7. shows gains in the eight health domains, compared with the control group and besides evaluate balance with the Tinetti Test and motor ability with the Timed Up & Go Test. Furness and Maschette2929 Furness TP, Maschette WE. Influence of whole body vibration platform frequency on neuromuscular performance of community-dwelling older adults. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(5):1508-13. compares the scale values to the control group, presenting improvement in vitality and emotional role functioning with WBV three times a week, and increased physical functioning with WBV once a week. It also assesses neuromuscular performance with the same tests and with the 5-Chair Stands Test.

None of the studies reported incompatibility or adverse effects directly related to vibration. However, two subjects quit treatment in the WBV group due to a tingling sensation in the lower limbs2828 Bruyere O, Wuidart MA, Di Palma E, Gourlay M, Ethgen O, Richy F, et al. Controlled whole body vibration to decrease fall risk and improve health-related quality of life of nursing home residents. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005;86(2):303-7.. Series of WBV adaptation or demonstration are not reported.

Table 1
Methodological assessment of studies selected for the strength and quality of life outcomes according to Cochrane

Quantitative Synthesis

Strength Outcome

The results present clinical homogeneity, similar patients, identical investigation question, the same intervention and result measurement, with heterogeneity verified by Chi2 = 3,09, which is considered methodological heterogeneity. Therefore, it was done a meta-analysis in order to verify the strength effect. The selection criterion for meta- analysis was training chronicity. Previous reviews mention as chronic training periods of three or more months1414 Mikhael M, Orr R, Singh MAF. The effect of whole body vibration exposure on muscle or bone morphology and function in older adults: a systematic review of the literature. Maturitas. 2010;66(2):150-7.), (1515 Slatkovska L, Alibhai SMH, Beyene J, Cheung AM. Effect of whole-body vibration on BMD: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Osteoporos Int. 2010;21(12):1969-80., and only such studies were included in the meta-analysis. These studies included 324 individuals, 157 using WBV as treatment and 167 participating actively or as control (Figure 3).

Figure 3
Forest Plot studies of meta-analysis for muscle strength outcome.

Quality of Life Outcome

Both studies presented the same intervention, in the same group, with result measurement done in identical form, using the SF 36 for measuring quality of life. In the quantitative evaluation, 30 individuals were evaluated for the control group and 32 for the WBV group. As the questionnaire outcomes are eight, eight evaluations were performed (Figure 4).

Figure 4
Forest Plot studies of meta-analysis for quality of life outcome, eight domains

Discussion

Despite the low methodological quality of the studies, the quantitative analysis suggests that WBV training is effective for the improvement of strength in the elderly, with good statistic power, with chances of being an alternative for resistance training. Some methodological considerations should be recognized. This study is the sum of single results of randomized and quasi-randomized clinical trials and reflects their quality. In this sense, it should be noted the low methodological quality of the selected clinical trials, most of them lacking sample size calculation, concealment description or randomization method or blinding method in the outcome analysis.

For the strength outcome, the evaluation was performed with isokinetic dynamometry, considered an evaluation method that generates objective data, high sensibility, reproducibility and specificity for the strength and balance measurement of muscle groups. Furthermore, it is a low cost and fast implementation method3030 Oliveira WL, Silva RD, Custódio IJO, Barcelos SAMG. Análise da influência da plataforma vibratória no desempenho do salto vertical em atletas de futebol: ensaio clínico randomizado. Fisioter Mov. 2011;24(2):265-74.), (3131 Xu L, Cardinale M, Rabotti C, Beju B, Mischi M. Eight- week vibration training of the elbow flexors by force modulation: effects on dynamic and isometric strength. J Strength Cond Res. 2016;30(3):739-46.), (3232 Pollock RD, Woledge RC, Martin FC, Newham DJ. Effects of whole body vibration on motor unit recruitment and threshold. J Appl Physiol. 2012;112(3):388-95.. The isokinetic strength evaluation is considered the best method for determining the functional pattern of muscle strength and balance, that way the subject performs maximal or submaximal contraction, which adapts itself to the device resistance3333 Kennis E, Verschueren SM, Bogaerts A, Coudyzer W, Boonen S, Delecluse C. Effects of fitness and vibration training on muscle quality: a 1-year postintervention follow-up in older men. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;94(5):910-8.), (3434 Muff G, Dufour S, Meyer A, Severac F, Favret F, Geny B, et al. Comparative assessment of knee extensor and flexor muscle strength measured using a hand- held vs. isokinetic dynamometer. J Phys Ther Sci. 2016;28(9):2445-51.), (3535 Harbo T, Brincks J, Andersen H. Maximal isokinetic and isometric muscle strength of major muscle groups related to age, body mass, height, and sex in 178 healthy subjects. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012;112(1):267-75..

The estimate following the statistic combination of the clinical trials pointed to the presence of benefits for the strength outcome, according to the graph, although in all studies the confidence interval has touched the no effect line (Figure 3).

In a quantitative analysis, a couple of studies2424 Bautmans I, Hees E, Lemper J, Mets T. The feasibility of whole body vibration in institutionalised elderly persons and its influence on muscle performance, balance and mobility: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Geriatr. 2005;5:17.), (2727 Raimundo AM, Gusi N, Tomas-Carus P. Fitness efficacy of vibratory exercise compared to walking in postmenopausal women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;106(5):741-8. do not show increase in strength outcome with pvalue < 0,05. Despite having the best methodological quality, Bautmans’s study2424 Bautmans I, Hees E, Lemper J, Mets T. The feasibility of whole body vibration in institutionalised elderly persons and its influence on muscle performance, balance and mobility: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Geriatr. 2005;5:17. was performed in the shortest time, just 1.5 months, while the others ranged from 02 to 12 months. The WBV is an unspecific training operating in a mechanism that includes slow physiological adaptations, which is the case of strength improvement. Therefore, for an effective outcome, it should last slightly more than the specific training, which occurs around 1.5 to 2 months. As a specific protocol for WBV is not available yet, studies with any training time, acute or chronic, were included, but only the latter ones were part of the meta-analysis, assuming that the strength outcome, if present, would occur only after a chronic period of training.

Another possible variant in this study outcome may have occurred due to pre-existing differences between the intervention and control groups. The strength outcome varies widely, being the WBV group initial strength 270.0 ± 203.8 Newtons, against 375.2 ± 253.8 Newtons in the control group. Even considering the standard deviation values, there is a big difference in the basal values, what could explain the final difference in the outcomes of the two groups.

Raimundo et al.2727 Raimundo AM, Gusi N, Tomas-Carus P. Fitness efficacy of vibratory exercise compared to walking in postmenopausal women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;106(5):741-8. also does not increase of strength in the groups (vibration/walks) according to the isokinetic dynamometry, although it notes significant positive values when measuring stand up speed, 4 meter walking speed and vertical jump height in relation to the pre-test. This means that although the gains have not been identified in numerical terms, functional capacity has improved. Besides, exercises like walks and low frequency vibration result in electromyographic activity of low to moderate amplitude, what can justify the lack of results in the isokinetic strength, once it requires high electromyographic activity3636 Kim SH, Han KJ, Zhang SA. Norm-Referenced Criteria for Isokinetic Strength of the Lower Limbs for the Korean High School Baseball Players. Korean J Sports Med. 2016;34(1):48-56.), (3737 Camic CL, Housh TJ, Zuniga JM, Hendrix CR, Bergstrom HC, Traylor DA, et al. Electromyographic and mechanomyographic responses across repeated maximal isometric and concentric muscle actions of the leg extensors. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2013;23(2):342-8.), (3838 Cochrane KC, Coburn JW, Brown LE, Judelson DA. Effects of diverting activity on strength, electromyographic, and mechanomyographic signals. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(5):1203-11..

Still in this study2727 Raimundo AM, Gusi N, Tomas-Carus P. Fitness efficacy of vibratory exercise compared to walking in postmenopausal women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;106(5):741-8., comparing the walking and WBV groups, it was observed an improvement in the muscle strength associated to daily activities (walk, sit or climb stairs) essential for postural stability3333 Kennis E, Verschueren SM, Bogaerts A, Coudyzer W, Boonen S, Delecluse C. Effects of fitness and vibration training on muscle quality: a 1-year postintervention follow-up in older men. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;94(5):910-8., while the WBV program improved the jump explosive strength associated to a fast muscle contraction, important to fall prevention in the elderly.

The other studies44 Bogaerts A, Delecluse C, Claessens AL Troosters T, Boonen S, Verschueren SM. Effects of whole body vibration training on cardiorespiratory ?tness and muscle strength in older individuals (a 1-year randomized controlled trial). Age Ageing. 2009;38(4):448-54.), (2020 von Stengel S, Kemmler W, Engelke K, Kalender WA. Effect of whole-body vibration on neuromuscular performance and body composition for females 65 years and older: a randomized-controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2012;22(1):119-27.), (2121 Rees SS, Murphy AJ, Watsford ML. Effects of whole-body vibration exercise on lower-extremity muscle strength and power in an older population: a randomized clinical trial. Phys Ther. 2008;88(4):462-70.), (2222 Roelants M, Delecluse C, Verschueren SM. Whole- body-vibration training increases knee-extension strength and speed of movement in older women. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004;52(6):901-8.), (2323 Verschueren SM, Roelants M, Delecluse C, Swinnen S, Vanderschueren D, Boonen S. Effect of 6-month whole body vibration training on hip density, muscle strength, and postural control in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled pilot study. J Bone Miner Res. 2004;19(3):352-9.), (2525 Silva RG, Andreotti R, Gehring PR, Nunes MES, Wallerstein L, Fonseca MCO, et al. Efeito do treinamento vibratório na força e em testes funcionais em idosos físicamente ativos. Rev Bras Cineantropom Desempenho Hum. 2009;11(2):166-73.), (2626 Machado A, García-López L, González-Gallego J, Garatachea N. Whole-body vibration training increases muscle strength and mass in older women: a randomized-controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sport. 2010;20(2):200-7. present an increase in the strength outcome. These findings reinforce the theory that WBV is an option which produces adaptive results similar to resistance training33 Tseng SY, Lai CL, Chang KL, Hsu PS, Lee MC, Wang CH. Influence of Whole-Body Vibration Training Without Visual Feedback on Balance and Lower-Extremity Muscle Strength of the Elderly: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016;95(5):e2709.), (66 Lora MH, Corrales BS, Páez LC. Respuesta cardiovascular y respiratoria aguda derivada de la aplicación de estímulos vibratorios de diferente magnitud. Apunts Med Esport. 2010;45(165):23-30. leading to improvement of strength. In theory, the WBV improves neuromuscular efficiency by fast activation of response circuits to changes in muscle position and promotion of direct action upon contraction, in such a way that it would increase voluntary movement efficiency3939 McAllister MJ, Schilling BK, Hammond KG, Weiss LW, Farney TM. Effect of grip width on electromyographic activity during the upright row. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(1):181-7.), (4040 Marshall LC, Wyon MA. The effect of whole-body vibration on jump height and active range of movement in female dancers. J Strength Cond Res. 2012;26(3):789-93.), (4141 Fuermaier ABM, Tucha L, Koerts J, van Heuvelen MJG, van der Zee EA, Lange KW, et al. Good vibrations - effects of whole body vibration on attention in healthy individuals and individuals with ADHD. PloS One. 2014;9(2):e90747..

In quality of life, although the means have shown significant increases, at least in functional capacity, the graphs for each outcome do not make these results clear. In Bruyere’s study2828 Bruyere O, Wuidart MA, Di Palma E, Gourlay M, Ethgen O, Richy F, et al. Controlled whole body vibration to decrease fall risk and improve health-related quality of life of nursing home residents. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005;86(2):303-7. the differences between the means and standard deviations are big, what interferes in the final graph result. In the second study, Furness and Maschette2929 Furness TP, Maschette WE. Influence of whole body vibration platform frequency on neuromuscular performance of community-dwelling older adults. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(5):1508-13. results had smaller standard deviations, however, their sample had only ten subjects training three times a week. The small number of individuals and the big standard deviation do not permit the diamond visualization in the meta-analysis (Figure 4).

Vibration proved to be an exercise well accepted by the elderly and with no adverse effects. The low to moderate frequency vibration safety is normatized by ISO 2631-1, 19971818 International Standards Organization. Mechanical Vibration and Shock - Evaluation of Human Exposure to Whole Body Vibration. Part 1: General Requirements. International In: Standard ISO 2631-Genève, Switzerland: International Standards Organization; 1997.. Although a training protocol has not been created yet, all studies were performed according to safety parameters concerning exposition time and frequency of the device.

Conclusion

Despite the low methodological quality of the studies, the quantitative analysis suggests that WBV training is effective for the improvement of strength in the elderly, with good statistic power, with chances of being an alternative for resistance training, once there is no need of active contraction. Its use is technically easy and shows positive and fast results, being one more alternative to the therapeutic arsenal that can slow down the decrease of strength in the elderly. Regarding quality of life, the WBV was effective only in improving physical functioning. The recommendation is that there is evidence for WBV application in the studied outcomes, although further studies are needed to evaluate other effects such as cardiopulmonary and hormonal functions, because being a global training, could promote changes in the physiology of several systems.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    2017

History

  • Received
    12 July 2016
  • Accepted
    21 June 2017
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná Rua Imaculada Conceição, 1155 - Prado-Velho -, Curitiba - PR - CEP 80215-901, Telefone: (41) 3271-1608 - Curitiba - PR - Brazil
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