Vibration machines are heavily promoted as a way to strengthen bones, but they didn’t provide this benefit for a group of postmenopausal women who signed on for a yearlong study of the machines’ effectiveness.
Researchers at Toronto General Hospital recruited 202 women whose bone mass was low but not bad enough to require treatment with prescription drugs. The women were randomly divided into three groups; two groups were assigned to stand on a whole body vibration platform that moved at one of two speeds for 20 minutes a day. The third group served as controls.
All the women were given calcium and vitamin D to see if the supplements plus the vibration reduced the rate of bone loss. Their bone density was measured when the study began and when it ended. The end result of all that shaking? There was no statistically significant difference in rate of bone loss over the year among the women in the vibration groups compared to the controls.