PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if an exercise program with vertical vibration can improve balance, walking speed, muscle strength and falls efficacy in the healthy elderly.
METHODS: A total of 28 elderly were randomly divided into two groups: vertical vibration exercise group (exercise with vertical vibration) (N = 14) and control group (exercise without vibration) (N = 14). The exercise program, comprising calf raise, deep-squat, semi-squat, front lunge, and leg abduction was conducted with or without vibration, respectively. Subjects in each group participated in the 30 minutes training program, 2 times per week for 6 weeks. In both groups, the balance evaluation system (BT4) was used to evaluate standing balance, and walking speed was measured using the 10MWT. The manual muscle test system was applied to evaluate the knee extensor and ankle planter flexor muscle strength of the subjects, whereas the Korean falls efficacy scale (K-FES) evaluated the falls efficacy.
RESULTS: After intervention, the vertical vibration group showed significantly higher changes compared to the control group, in the parameters of standing balance (P < .05), 10MWT (P < .05), left knee extensor (P < .05), right knee extensor (P < .01), both ankle plantar flexors (P < .05), and K-FES (P < .05).
CONCLUSION: The exercise program with vertical vibration has the potential to improve balance, walking speed, muscle power and falls efficacy in the elderly.