Variability of vibrations produced by commercial whole-body vibration platforms.

Author: Alizadeh-Meghrazi M1, Zariffa J, Masani K, Popovic MR, Craven BC.
1, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Conference/Journal: J Rehabil Med.
Date published: 2014 Aug 22
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.2340/16501977-1868 , Word Count: 184

Objective: Whole body vibration has been studied in populations experiencing neuromuscular degradation, including the elderly and individuals with neurological disorders, but methodological standardization is required to clarify its therapeutic effects. The characteristics of the vibrations actually delivered by commercial platforms are rarely measured or reported. Our objective was to quantify the vibrations (frequency, amplitude and peak acceleration) produced by several commercial platforms across different settings. Methods: Laser and accelerometer recordings were used to measure the vibrations of 7 vibration platforms. Four loads (0 kg, 45 kg, 68 kg, 91 kg) and 3 vibration frequencies were used (30 Hz, 40 Hz, 50 Hz), totaling 12 combinations. Results: In all platforms, vibration amplitude and peak acceleration varied as a function of the load used (p < 0.001 in all cases). In most platforms, the actual frequency of vibration differed from the intended frequency (actual/intended ratio ranging from 0.83 to 1.19), as a function of load and frequency. These results imply that subjects of different weights could be receiving different vibrations. Conclusion: Investigators should characterize and report the vibrations actually delivered in their studies, in order to increase the quality of evidence in whole body vibration studies.
PMID: 25148418