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Effects of Whole-Body Vibration Compared to a Community-Based Exercise Program for Improving Older Adults' Balance and Mood

Background: Whole-body vibration (WBV) may be an effective means of improving body composition and physical functioning in older adults, and the benefits may be comparable to traditional exercise modalities. The aim of this study was to test the effects of WBV on older adults’ balance and mood state. Materials and Methods: Thirty-one participants (5 male, M age= 89.8 ±8.8, and 26 female, M age = 74.5±8.1) were randomly assigned to WBV or a community-based exercise program (CBEP). The intervention lasted 6 months, with participants doing WBV 10-15 min, 5 d/wk or CBEP 50 min, 2 d/wk. The Sensory Organization Test (SOT) was used to assess overall balance. SOT data were collected using the NeuroCom (Clackamas, OR), which assesses three sensory systems associated with postural control: somatosensory, visual, and vestibular. Total mood disturbance (TMD) was assessed over the previous 6 months using the Profile of Mood States (POMS). Data were collected pre- post-intervention. Results: Controlling for age and gender, a 2 (group) ? 2 (time) repeated measures MANCOVA revealed no group, time, or group ? time interaction effects (all p>.05); however, the proportion of variance accounted for by the group ? time interaction was 14%, which is moderate. Delta values for the WBV and CBEP for SOT were +2.00 and +5.31, respectively; and for TMD +5.66 and -0.19, respectively. Conclusion: No between or within group differences suggest that 6-months of WBV or CBEP produce similar results among older adults. The restrictive sample size and relatively low statistical power limit the finding’s generalizability.

Author(s): Zi Yan, Bradley J Cardinal, Ruben J Guzman, Walker A Maddalozzo, Gianni F.Maddalozzo

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