Whole-body vibration is a low-intensity form of
exercise in which a person is on a vibrating
The vibrations cause muscles to contract and relax
multiple times a second. Whole-body vibration (WBV)
has gained attention as a potential exercise
To determine whether whole-body vibration (WBV)
recapitulates the metabolic and osteogenic effects
of physical activity, researchers exposed male
wild-type (WT) and leptin receptor–deficient (db/db)
mice to daily treadmill exercise (TE) or WBV for 3
Body weights were analyzed and compared with WT and
db/db mice that remained sedentary.
Glucose and insulin tolerance testing revealed
comparable attenuation of hyperglycemia and insulin
resistance in db/db mice following TE or WBV.
Both interventions reduced body weight in db/db mice
and normalized muscle fiber diameter.
TE or WBV also attenuated adipocyte hypertrophy in
visceral adipose tissue and reduced hepatic lipid
content in db/db mice.
Although the effects of leptin receptor deficiency
on cortical bone structure were not eliminated by
either intervention, exercise and WBV increased
circulating levels of osteocalcin in db/db mice.
In the context of increased serum osteocalcin, the
modest effects of TE and WBV on bone geometry,
mineralization, and biomechanics may reflect subtle
increases in osteoblast activity in multiple areas
of the skeleton.
Taken together, these observations indicate that WBV
recapitulates the effects of exercise on metabolism
in type 2 diabetes.
While more research is needed to determine the
effects on humans, the study suggests that
whole-body vibration has the potential to combat
some of the negative effects of diabetes and
This could be particularly beneficial for people who
can’t participate in traditional exercise due to
physical limitations or other restrictions.
For more information
Whole-Body Vibration Mimics the Metabolic Effects of
Exercise in Male Leptin Receptor–Deficient Mice
Oxford University Press