Objective: To investigate the efficacy of high-frequency whole-body vibration (WBV) on balancing ability in elderly women.
Design: Randomized controlled trial. Subjects were randomized to either the WBV intervention or the no-treatment control group.
Setting: Community-living elderly women.
Participants: Sixty-nine elderly women aged 60 or above without habitual exercise.
Intervention: Side alternating WBV at 20Hz with 3 minutes a day and 3 days a week for 3 months in the WBV intervention group. Those in control group remained sedentary with normal daily life for the whole study period.
Main outcome measures: Limits of stability in terms of reaction time, movement velocity, directional control, endpoint excursion, maximum excursion, and the functional reach test were performed at baseline and endpoint.
Results: Significant enhancement of stability was detected in movement velocity (P<.01), maximum point excursion (P<.01), in directional control (P<.05).
Conclusions: WBV was effective in improving the balancing ability in elderly women. This also provides evidence to support our user-friendly WBV treatment protocol of 3 minutes a day for the elderly to maintain their balancing ability and reduce risks of fall.