Resistance Exercise, Electrical Muscle Stimulation, and Whole-Body Vibration in Older Adults: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Author: Nejc Šarabon1,2,3, Žiga Kozinc1,4, Stefan Löfler5,6, Christian Hofer7
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Primorska, Polje 42, SI-6310 Izola, Slovenia. <sup>2</sup> InnoRenew CoE, Human Health Department, Livade 6, SI6310 Izola, Slovenia. <sup>3</sup> S2P, Science to practice, Ltd., Laboratory for Motor Control and Motor Behavior, Tehnološki park 19, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. <sup>4</sup> Andrej Marušič Institute, University of Primorska, Muzejski trg 2, SI-6000 Koper, Slovenia. <sup>5</sup> Physiko- &amp; Rheumatherapie, Institute for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 3100 St. Pölten, Austria. <sup>6</sup> Centre of Active Ageing-Competence Centre for Health, Prevention and Active Ageing, 3100 St. Pölten, Austria. <sup>7</sup> Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rehabilitation Research, 3100 St. Pölten, Austria.
Conference/Journal: J Clin Med
Date published: 2020 Sep 8
Other: Volume ID: 9 , Issue ID: 9 , Pages: E2902 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/jcm9092902. , Word Count: 221

It has been shown that resistance exercise (RT) is one of the most effective approaches to counteract the physical and functional changes associated with aging. This systematic review with meta-analysis compared the effects of RT, whole-body vibration (WBV), and electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) on muscle strength, body composition, and functional performance in older adults. A thorough literature review was conducted, and the analyses were limited to randomized controlled trials. In total, 63 studies were included in the meta-analysis (48 RT, 11 WBV, and 4 EMS). The results showed that RT and WBV are comparably effective for improving muscle strength, while the effects of EMS remains debated. RT interventions also improved some outcome measures related to functional performance, as well as the cross-sectional area of the quadriceps. Muscle mass was not significantly affected by RT. A limitation of the review is the smaller number of WBV and particularly EMS studies. For this reason, the effects of WBV and EMS could not be comprehensively compared to the effect of RT for all outcome measures. For the moment, RT or combinations of RT and WBV or EMS, is probably the most reliable way to improve muscle strength and functional performance, while the best approach to increase muscle mass in older adults remains open to further studies.

Keywords: elderly; electrical stimulation; falls; resistance exercise; sarcopenia; vibration.

PMID: 32911822 DOI: 10.3390/jcm9092902