Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Peter WR Lemon


Recently, whole-body vibration (WBV) exercise has been gaining interest in the health/fitness community for its reported beneficial outcomes. However, most of these have not been evaluated scientifically leading to some reservation in promoting this new exercise modality. The purpose of this dissertation was to assess the viability of WBV exercise to enhance several selected indices of health.

Study 1 demonstrated that the addition of WBV to an isometric semi-squat in young healthy men (n = 8, 25±2.6 y, 177±7.0 cm, 84±12.1 kg) resulted in increases in femoral artery blood flow and leg skin temperature vs the same exercise without vibration (NoV). These increases were seen without concomitant elevations in heart rate and mean arterial pressure suggesting WBV exercise may be a viable training modality for many, perhaps even those with compromised cardiovascular function.

Study 2 demonstrated WBV exercise resulted in a greater oxygen consumption both during and following (8 and 24 h) the exercise bout compared to NoV in young healthy men (n = 8, during - 26±2.3 y, 180±8.2 cm, 84±10.1 kg and 5 of the same and 3 others following - 26±3.0 y, 179±8.3 cm, 85±7.3 kg). These increases in oxygen consumed suggest WBV exercise could be a viable training method to induce positive body composition changes with chronic exposure.

Study 3 demonstrated that neither an acute bout of WBV nor NoV exercise caused a significant effect on muscle function, soreness, or inflammation in young healthy men (n = 10, 25±3.5 y, 179±7.2 cm, 81±7.9 kg). These data suggest WBV has no significant deleterious effects on muscle.

Study 4 demonstrated that both the WBV and NoV exercise sessions improved insulin sensitivity in young healthy men (n=8, 27±2.4 y, 179±7.7 cm, 83±10.6 kg). These results suggest WBV may be an effective exercise mode for individuals with impaired glucose tolerance or even diabetes.

Together these studies demonstrate significant potential health benefit of acute synchronous whole-body vibration exercise and illustrate a need for future mechanistic work determining how exposure to these high frequency low amplitude oscillations produce these benefits.

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