Vibration exercise effects examined
A James Cook University researcher is investigating whether popular ‘vibration’ platforms, commonly sold on television infomercials, may have an adverse impact on the heart.
Cameron Siandri tests out the machine
JCU Physiotherapy Honours student Cameron Siandri is researching the effect of vibration exercise on the heart, under the supervision of Dr Anne Jones (Physiotherapy) and Associate Professor Anthony Leicht (Sport and Exercise Science).
Vibration exercise is defined as an activity that is usually performed on an oscillating machine platform, and is reported to burn calories or kilojoules by the users simply standing still while the machine operates.
Makers of these devices claim that the rapid vibrations of the machine cause muscles to contract and relax by natural reflex approximately 7-28 times per second. Users can usually vary the intensity of the machine to alter the intensity of muscular contractions (or exercise).
Aside from any weight loss benefits, Mr Siandri is looking into what impact these machines have on the user’s heart.
“We believe the machine may change the heart rate of a person when performing exercise on the machine. This change in heart rate is of particular interest in older people who are commonly prescribed vibration treatment,” Mr Siandri said.
“Whole Body Vibration, or WBV, with exercise increases a person’s heart rate to a higher level than WBV without exercise and therefore, WBV induces a higher exercise intensity level which may increase the stress on a person’s heart.”
As well as weight loss, the vibration machines are alleged to have many uses, including physiotherapy benefits, but Mr Siandri said his study is more interested in the effects on a patient’s heart.
The research involves monitoring participants’ heart rate for 10 minutes, then participants stand on the WBV machine for 10 minutes followed by 10 minutes of heart rate monitoring.
The machines resemble those seen in TV infomercials, but are a therapeutic version of the device.
NOTE FOR TOWNSVILLE MEDIA:
For his research, Mr Siandri is looking for male volunteers aged over 50 in the Townsville area. The sessions will take place at James Cook University Campus in Townsville (Rehabilitation Sciences, Building 43, room 040).
Criteria for participation is males (50 years and over) who are healthy, are not taking cardiac or respiratory medication (e.g. Ventolin) and do not have a diagnosed disease or condition such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, a pacemaker or diabetes.
Participation will involve three sessions, each taking one hour with one session per week.
Please contact Mr Siandri to arrange a time, or for more information. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Note for media: To view a photo and video of the machine working, visit: bit.ly/21CCO7Z