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Maturitas, 2015; 80(): 342-358, PMID: 25631348

The effect of whole body vibration exposure on balance and functional mobility in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Year: 2015

Orr R
Exercise, Health and Performance Faculty Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. Electronic address:


The aim of this review was to systematically evaluate the effect of WBV exposure alone on balance and functional mobility in older adults. A literature search of randomized controlled trials (RCT) reporting the effects of WBV on balance or functional mobility outcomes in older adults, was conducted using multiple databases. WBV-plus-exercise was only included if the control group performed the same exercises as the WBV group, but without vibration. The methodological quality of studies was assessed using the PEDro scale. Meta-analysis was performed if three or more studies measured the same outcome. Twenty RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Eight RCTs compared WBV-only with control and eight RCTs compared WBV-plus-exercise with the same-exercise only group. Meta-analysis indicated that WBV improved single-leg stance (p=0.05) and timed up and go (p=0.004) measures compared with controls. WBV improved other balance and mobility outcomes with inconsistent results. Although balance and mobility appeared to be responsive to WBV-plus-exercise, particularly in lower-functioning patients, compared with WBV-only, caution is required when interpreting the findings. Although there is some evidence for an overall effect of WBV on selected balance and mobility measures, its impact remains inconclusive. Robust RCTs examining WBV-only exposure on balance and functional mobility in older adults are warranted.

Keywords: Metaanalysis
GID: 3748; Last update: 10.02.2015