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Popular whole-body-vibration exercise: not an effective therapy for the prevention of bone loss
Date:11/14/2011

Whole-body-vibration, a popular exercise which uses a vibrating platform, is sometimes advertised as being able to boost bone density. However, a one-year-study on healthy postmenopausal women has shown that it has no such effect.

The study entitled, "Effects of 12 Months of Whole-Body Vibration (WBV) on Bone Density and Structure in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial", is published in the November 15, 2011 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. This study was led by University Health Network (UHN) researchers, Drs. Angela Cheung, Shabbir Alibhai and Luba Slatkovska (lead author), who conducted this as part of her doctoral thesis.

"Although researchers are seeking alternatives to time-consuming exercise to improve bone density, the results of this study suggest this specific therapy is not effective in improving bone density," said Dr. Angela Cheung, Director of the Osteoporosis Program at UHN, Director of the Centre of Excellence in Skeletal Health Assessment (CESHA), Lillian Love Chair in Women's Health, and Associate Professor, University of Toronto. "Women would be farther ahead in making sure that they are exercising regularly and eating nutritious foods."

About one in two women after the age of 50 will have a fracture in their lifetime that is related to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become brittle and porous, decreasing bone strength and density, thereby increasing the risk of fracture or breakage. The most common sites of osteoporotic fracture are the wrist, spine and hip.

WBV involves standing on a motor-driven, oscillating small platform, like a bathroom scale, which produces upward accelerations from the feet to the weight-bearing muscles and bones, reproducing pressure on the bones, much like weight-bearing exercises are designed to do. With very little effort, participants can simply stand on these moving platforms to allegedly achieve the benefits of mo
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Contact: Alex Radkewycz
Alexandra.Radkewycz@uhn.ca
416-340-3895
University Health Network
Source:Eurekalert

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