Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of whole-body passive vibration exercise and its differences from aerobic exercise on body composition, bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC).
Methods: Obese middle-aged women (n=33 out of 45) with 34±3% body fat completed the training protocol. They were randomly assigned into diet (n=9; control group), diet plus whole-body vibration exercise (n=13; vibration group), and diet plus aerobic exercise (n=11; aerobic group) groups and we compared their body composition, BMD, and BMC before and after 9 months of training. There were no significant differences in nutrient intake among groups during the training period.
Results: Relative body fat (%) decreased significantly (p < .05) in all three groups and the exercise groups showed a greater reduction in fat mass than the diet only group. BMD in the whole body, lumbar spine, hip and forearm were not significantly different among the three groups. Total body BMC increased significantly in the vibration group throughout the first 6 months of training.
Conclusion: Results suggest that long- term vibration training when used in conjunction with a diet program is as effective as aerobic exercise with a diet program in improving body composition of obese middle-aged women without compromising BMC or BMD. Thus, it can be considered a novel and effective method for reducing body fat.
Keywords: Aerobic exercise; Body composition; Bone mineral density; Middle-aged women; Vibration exercise.