Effect of Vibration Training on Physical Functioning and Risk of Falling in Older People

The Effect of Whole Body Vibration Training on Physical Functioning and Risk of Falling in Older People Living in Sheltered Housing

This randomized controlled trial (NCT0153600) evaluates the effects of whole body vibration training on the physical functioning and risk of falling in older people



In the early 2000s, there was growing interest in the effects of whole body vibration (WBV) training on physical functioning, bone strength and health in general. In WBV training the body can experience tens of foot-mediated ground reaction forces in each second, whereas normal walking or running creates only a few such forces per second. According to scientific evidence, WBV training has potential to prevent falls and fall-related injuries among older people.


This trial aimed to investigate the effects of WBV training on physical functioning and fall risk among older people.


More than 120 older adults aged from 65 to 92 years and living in or regularly using the services of sheltered housing have been recruited in the study from four facilities in Tampere. The trial comprised a 10-week (double-blind) randomised controlled training intervention (RCT) and a 10-month follow-up period. One group took part in supervised, individual WBV training twice a week, while the other group took part in supervised sham exercises once a week. The feasibility of the WBV training program was evaluated in a pilot study. The final statistical analyses are expected to be complete by the end of year 2018.


In the pilot trial, the planned WBV program was found feasible among older adults with very low functioning. In the main trial, the training was well tolerated and the adherence to the WBV training was about 87% and to the sham about 82%. According to preliminary analyses, no clear effect favoring the WBV training on physical functioning or fall rate was seen.


Harri Sievänen
Research Director


Sievänen H, Karinkanta S, Moisio-Vilenius P, Ripsaluoma J. Feasibility of whole-body vibration training in nursing home residents with low physical function: a pilot study. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2014;26:511-7.


Updated May 2018

Last Modified: 02.01.2019

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