Randomized Clinical Trial
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2018. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Orthop. Sep 18, 2018; 9(9): 156-164
Published online Sep 18, 2018. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v9.i9.156
Acute effects of partial-body vibration in sitting position
Yannik Faes, Nora Banz, Nathalie Buscher, Angela Blasimann, Lorenz Radlinger, Patric Eichelberger, Achim Elfering
Yannik Faes, Nora Banz, Nathalie Buscher, Achim Elfering, Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Bern, Bern 3012, Switzerland
Angela Blasimann, Lorenz Radlinger, Patric Eichelberger, Department of Health Professions, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Bern 3008, Switzerland
Author contributions: Faes Y, Banz N and Buscher N designed the study, performed the experiment, did the analyses and wrote the manuscript; Blasimann A and Radlinger L provided support at the physiological measurements; Eichelberger P constructed the vibration platform and provided technical support in relation to the vibration platform; Elfering A supervised the design of the study and analyses and wrote the manuscript.
Institutional review board statement: This study was reviewed and approved by the ethical committee of the responsible University faculty (University of Bern; Nr. 2016-5-000004).
Clinical trial registration statement: This study includes no patients and is not registered.
Informed consent statement: All study participants, or their legal guardian, provided informed written consent prior to study enrollment.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All author(s) state that for the current paper there is no financial or other relationship that might lead to a conflict of interest. There is no financial or other involvement of any stakeholders.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
CONSORT 2010 statement: The guidelines of the CONSORT 2010 statement had adopted.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article, which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Achim Elfering, MSc, PhD, Professor, Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Bern, Fabrikstrasse 8, Bern 3012, Switzerland. achim.elfering@psy.unibe.ch
Telephone: +41-31-6313639
Received: March 28, 2018
Peer-review started: March 29, 2018
First decision: May 2, 2018
Revised: May 20, 2018
Accepted: May 23, 2018
Article in press: May 23, 2018
Published online: September 18, 2018

To investigate the acute effects of sinusoidal and stochastic resonance partial-body vibration in sitting position, including muscle activity, heart rate variability, balance and flexibility.


Fifty healthy participants were assigned randomly to two training conditions: A sinusoidal partial-body vibration (SIN, 8 Hz) or a stochastic resonance partial-body vibration (STOCH, 8 ± 2 Hz). For baseline assessment participants sat on the vibration platform without vibration. Both training conditions consisted of five series of a one-minute vibration training and a one-minute break between them. In this experimental study surface electromyography (EMG) of the erector spinae (ES), one of the back muscles, and heart rate variability (HRV) was measured at baseline and during training. Balance and flexibility were assessed at baseline and immediately after training. Balance was measured with the modified star excursion balance test (mSEBT) and flexibility was assessed through the modified fingertip-to-floor method (mFTF).


Paired sample t-test showed a significant increase in balance that was restricted to STOCH (t = -2.22, P = 0.018; SIN: t = -0.09, P = 0.466). An increase in flexibility was also restricted to STOCH (t = 2.65, P = 0.007; SIN: t = 1.41, P = 0.086). There was no significant change of muscle activity in the ES-EMG in STOCH or SIN conditions. In both training conditions, HRV decreased significantly, but remained in a low-load range (STOCH: t = 2.89, P = 0.004; SIN: t = 2.55, P = 0.009).


In sitting position, stochastic resonance partial-body vibration can improve balance and flexibility while cardiovascular load is low. STOCH can be a valuable training option to people who are unable to stand (e.g., people, who are temporarily wheelchair-bound).

Keywords: Partial-body vibration, Balance, Flexibility, Sinusoidal, Stochastic resonance

Core tip: This experimental study shows an immediate improvement of balance and flexibility after one training session of stochastic resonance partial-body vibration (STOCH) in sitting position. STOCH in sitting position is a promising complement to stochastic resonance whole-body vibration (SR-WBV) in standing position, especially for individuals who are unable to do SR-WBV (e.g., people who are temporarily wheelchair-bound).