Whole-body vibration training in obese subjects: A systematic review

Matteo Zago, Paolo Capodaglio, Cristina Ferrario, Marco Tarabini, Manuela Galli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective (i) to determine the outcomes of whole-body vibration training (WBVT) on obese individuals, and the intervention settings producing such effects; (ii) identify potential improper or harmful use of WBVT. Design Systematic review. Data sources Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, PEDro and Scielo until July 2018. Eligibility criteria Full papers evaluating the effect of WBVT on body composition, cardiovascular status and functional performance in obese adults. Papers with PEDro score<4 were excluded. Study appraisal and synthesis Risk of bias and quality of WBVT reporting were assessed with PEDro scale (randomized controlled trials) or TREND checklist (non-randomized studies) and a 14-items checklist, respectively. Weighted acceleration, daily exposure and Hedges’ adjusted g were computed. Results We included 18 papers published 2010–2017. Typical interventions consisted in three sessions/week of exercises (squats, calf-raises) performed on platforms vibrating at 25–40 Hz (amplitude: 1–2 mm); according to ISO 2631–1:1997, daily exposure was “unsafe” in 7/18 studies. Interventions lasting 6 weeks improved cardiac autonomic function and reduced central/peripheral arterial stiffness in obese women; 10 weeks of WBVT produced significant weight/fat mass reduction, leg strength improvements as resistance training, and enhanced glucose regulation when added to hypocaloric diet. No paper evidenced losses of lean mass. Isolated cases of adverse effects were reported. Summary To date, WBVT is a promising adjuvant intervention therapy for obese women; long-term studies involving larger cohorts and male participants are required to demonstrate the associated safety and health benefits. The therapeutic use of WBVT in the management of obese patients is still not standardised and should be supported by an extensive knowledge on the causality between vibration parameters and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0202866
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Whole-body vibration training in obese subjects: A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this