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J Bone Miner Res. 2008 Aug;23(8):1318-25. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.080315.

Transmission of vertical whole body vibration to the human body.

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Bone Research Group, UKK Institute, Tampere, Finland.


According to experimental studies, low-amplitude high-frequency vibration is anabolic to bone tissue, whereas in clinical trials, the bone effects have varied. Given the potential of whole body vibration in bone training, this study aimed at exploring the transmission of vertical sinusoidal vibration to the human body over a wide range of applicable amplitudes (from 0.05 to 3 mm) and frequencies (from 10 to 90 Hz). Vibration-induced accelerations were assessed with skin-mounted triaxial accelerometers at the ankle, knee, hip, and lumbar spine in four males standing on a high-performance vibration platform. Peak vertical accelerations of the platform covered a range from 0.04 to 19 in units of G (Earth's gravitational constant). Substantial amplification of peak acceleration could occur between 10 and 40 Hz for the ankle, 10 and 25 Hz for the knee, 10 and 20 Hz for the hip, and at 10 Hz for the spine. Beyond these frequencies, the transmitted vibration power declined to 1/10th-1/1000 th of the power delivered by the platform. Transmission of vibration to the body is a complicated phenomenon because of nonlinearities in the human musculoskeletal system. These results may assist in estimating how the transmission of vibration-induced accelerations to body segments is modified by amplitude and frequency and how well the sinusoidal waveform is maintained. Although the attenuation of vertical vibration at higher frequencies is fortunate from the aspect of safety, amplitudes >0.5 mm may result in greater peak accelerations than imposed at the platform and thus pose a potential hazard for the fragile musculoskeletal system.

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