Background: Increased arterial stiffness is a well-established cardiovascular risk factor. Mechanical stimuli to artery, such as compression, elicit vasodilation and acutely decrease arterial stiffness. As whole-body vibration (WBV)-induced oscillation is propagated at least to lumbar spine, WBV mechanically stimulates abdominal and leg arteries and may decrease arterial stiffness. WBV is feasible in vulnerable and immobilized humans. Therefore, it is worthwhile to explore the possibility of WBV as a valuable adjunct to exercise training.
Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the acute effects of WBV on arterial stiffness.
Methods: Ten healthy men performed WBV and control (CON) trials on separate days. The WBV session consisted of 10 sets of vibration (frequency, 26 Hz) for 60 s with an inter-set rest period of 60 s. Subjects maintained a static squat position with knees bent on a platform. In the CON trial, WBV stimulation was not imposed. Blood pressure, heart rate and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), an index of arterial stiffness, were measured before and 20, 40 and 60 min after both trials.
Results and conclusion: Heart rate and blood pressure did not change from baseline after both trials. Although baPWV did not change in the CON trial (baseline vs. after 20, 40 and 60 min; 1144 ± 35 vs. 1164 ± 41, 1142 ± 39, and 1148 ± 34 cm s−1), baPWV decreased 20 and 40 min after the WBV trial and recovered to baseline 60 min after the trial (1137 ± 28 vs. 1107 ± 30, 1108 ± 28, and 1128 ± 25 cm s−1). These results suggest that WBV acutely decreases arterial stiffness.