What is Whole Body Vibration?

Whole Body Vibration (WBV), for which the participant stands on a vibrating platform, delivers low-frequency, low-amplitude mechanical stimuli that enter the human body via the feet.

The vibrations stimulate the muscle spindles, sending nerve impulses to initiate muscle contractions according to the tonic vibration reflex(1).

The effects resulting from WBV have included strengthened muscles(2,3), increased flexibility(4), increase power output(2,5), & improved postural control(6). All of these effects could help to improve gait function.

Prolonged vibration also causes as much as a 200% increase of blood flow to the muscles involved evoking a thermal effect that also enhances flexibility(7).

While the physical effects of prolonged vibration may be very beneficial in 10-20 minute intervals for postural/structural corrective traction procedures, it is usually not recommended for strength training exercises in intervals over one minute.

What can WBV do for you?

Exercise & strengthen musculoskeletal structures (motor capacity),
Reduce pain sensation & pain-related disability in patients with chronic low back pain,
Gain gait speed & stride length – (Cerebral Palsy or after a stroke - both strong & weak leg stride length),
Improve balance & posture,
Decrease falls in the elderly,
Increase muscle Oxygen consumption, temperature & performance,
Increase Oxygen uptake & blow off more carbon dioxide,
Improve skin blood flow,
One research paper showed an increase in serum/blood Testosterone & Growth Hormone in young men, however another looking at saliva concentration did not find this,
Show a decrease in Serum Cortisol (Stress Hormone) in young men, however another looking at saliva concentration did not find this,
Improve blood flow to muscles,
Improve bone mineral density at the hip,
Decrease muscle wasting due to immobility,
Improve cardio-respiratory function (at least in the short term!),
Improve sensory-motor neural pathways, & proprioception,
Decrease quadriceps spasticity in people with spinal cord injuries.


(1) Cardinale, M., & Busco, C. (2003). The use of vibration as an exercise intervention. Exercise & Sport Sciences Reviews, 31, 3-7.

(2) Cochrane DJ, Stannard SR. Acute whole body vibration training increases vertical jump & flexibility performance In elite female field hockey players. Br J Sports Med 2005;39(11):860-5.

(3) Delecluse C, Roelants M, Verschueren S. Strength increase after whole-body vibration compared with resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2003;35(6):1033-41.

(4) S&s WA, McNeal JR, Stone MH, Russell EM, Jemni M. Flexibility enhancement with vibration: Acute & long-term. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2006;38(4):720-5.

(5) Bosco C, Colli R, Introini E, Cardinale M, Tsarpela O, Madella A, Tihanyi J, Viru A. Adaptive responses of human skeletal muscle to vibration exposure. Clin Physiol 1999;19(2):183-7.

(6) Dickin DC, McClain MA, Hubble RP, Doan JB, Sessford D. Changes in postural sway frequency & complexity in altered sensory environments following whole body vibrations. Hum Mov Sci 2012; April 17.

(7) Cardinale M, Pope MH. The Effects of Whole Body Vibration on Humans: Dangerous or Advantageous? Acta Physiologica Humgarica, 2003;90(3):195-206.