This is intriguing.
Reuters had a story yesterday on the potential positive effects that whole body vibration training (WBV) may have on older folks. What is WBV, do you ask? It merely involves standing on platform that sends mild vibratory impulses through the feet and into the rest of the body.
Exercise therapy without having to exercise? Sounds like a win-win to me. They say this strategy could be particularly useful for older women:
In 1 study of 28 postmenopausal women, for example, researchers found that WBV appeared to increase bone density in the hip. The 8-month training regimen required the women to stand on a WBV platform, in a squat position, for six 1-minute cycles, 3 times per week. Another small study of postmenopausal women found that over one year, WBV training seemed to inhibit bone loss in the spine and hip area.
But more research is also needed; those with high blood pressure and/or heart disease are encouraged not to use WBV until more studies are done to address safety concerns.
In the meantime, this like an interesting new form of therapy that folks could potentially benefit from - although the idea of a platform as your exercise machine does seem a bit silly. "Going to the platform to work out, honey!"