Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is a passive exercise method known to have beneficial effects on various physical measures. Studies on adults furthermore demonstrated beneficial effects of WBV treatment on cognition (e.g. inhibition). The present study replicated these findings in healthy children and examined acute effects of WBV treatment on inhibition.
Fifty-five healthy children (aged 8-13) participated in this within-subject design study. WBV treatment was applied by having the children sit on a chair mounted to a vibrating platform. After each condition (vibration vs. non-vibration), inhibition was measured by using the Stroop Color-Word Interference Test. Repeated measures analyses were applied in order to explore the effects of WBV treatment on inhibition, and correlations were computed between the treatment effect and participant characteristics in order to explore individual differences in treatment sensitivity.
Three-minute WBV treatments had significant beneficial effects on inhibition in this sample of healthy children. Especially the repeated application (three times) of WBV treatment appeared beneficial for cognition. Stronger WBV treatment effects were correlated with higher intelligence and younger age, but not with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
This study demonstrates that especially repeated WBV treatment improves inhibition in healthy children. As this cognitive function is often impaired in children with developmental disorders (e.g. ADHD), future studies should further explore the effects, working mechanism and potential applicability of WBV treatment for this target group.
den Heijer, A. (Creator), Groen, Y. (Creator), Fuermaier, A. (Creator), van Heuvelen, M. (Creator), van der Zee, E. (Creator), Tucha, L. (Creator) & Tucha, O. (Creator), University of Groningen, 28-aug-2015