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What’s that machine at Blackwood that makes you jiggle?

Who remembers a time where losing weight was as simple as putting the roast in the oven, walking out to the living room, strapping a belt around you, turning the machine on and standing there as this marvellous device jiggles your fat away?

Well I’ll be honest, I don’t, but I have seen photos with some interesting haircuts and waist lines that didn’t change.

“Chris, where are you going with this?”

I’m talking about Whole Body Vibration (WBV) ladies and gentlemen! Though I do have some sad news however, WBV will not help you get toned, but Sarah’s blog might.

This neat little machine situated at our Blackwood practice works by rhythmically pushing up against your body – which, through gravity, is pushing down on the plate – giving your body the perceived feeling of an ‘increase in gravity’.


There is a bit of physics involved but I won’t bore you with that. Have you ever noticed that you feel momentarily heavier when an elevator is lifting you up? The WBV machine works in a similar way by increasing the force upon your body.

“Ok, cool, but what does this mean for me?”

Well I’m glad you asked! There are some rather bold claims out there as to what this technology can help with. You’ll probably notice smaller versions of our machine available in the market for your household. I want to provide you with the evidence of what Whole Body Vibration can actually help with.

What is supported?

  • A program on the WBV machine can help to build up bone strength (increase bone mineral density) in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis or osteopenia (Marin-Cascales et al. 2018)
  • WBV could reduce the fall rate in adults less than 50 years old (Jepsen et al. 2017).
  • WBV has potential to improve static balance in active elderly people and dynamic balance with less mobile elderly people (Rogan et al. 2017).
  • WBV can increase gait speed, balance, and physical function for those with osteoarthritis (Wang et al. 2015).

The above had the most quality evidence to support it. There are further claims to improving muscle strength, weight loss, lymphedema and flexibility, but unfortunately I was unable to find quality evidence to support these claims.

The big caveat to a WBV program is that it will take some time to show improvements, but at Blackwood we can incorporate WBV into your Physio Exercise Classes to get the best results for you!

If you have any further questions about any of the information presented here please feel free to contact the team at The Physio Clinic.


Jepsen, DB, Thomsen, K, Hansen, S, Jørgensen, NR, Masud, T & Ryg, J 2017, ‘Effect of whole-body vibration exercise in preventing falls and fractures: a systematic review and meta-analysis’, BMJ Open, vol. 7, no. 12, pp. e018342-e018342.

Marín-Cascales, E, Alcaraz, PE, Ramos-Campo, DJ, Martinez-Rodriguez, A, Chung, LH & Rubio-Arias, JÁ 2018, ‘Whole-body vibration training and bone health in postmenopausal women: A systematic review and meta-analysis’, Medicine, vol. 97, no. 34, pp. e11918-e11918.

Rogan, S, Taeymans, J, Radlinger, L, Naepflin, S, Ruppen, S, Bruelhart, Y & Hilfiker, R 2017, ‘Effects of whole-body vibration on postural control in elderly: An update of a systematic review and meta-analysis’, Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, vol. 73, 2017/11/01/, pp. 95-112.

Wang, P, Yang, X, Yang, Y, Yang, L, Zhou, Y, Liu, C, Reinhardt, JD & He, C 2015, ‘Effects of whole body vibration on pain, stiffness and physical functions in patients with knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis’, Clinical Rehabilitation, vol. 29, no. 10, pp. 939-951.