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A study published in the latest edition of Obesity Facts, The European Journal of Obesity, which compares different methods of weight loss may offer a fresh way to help address the obesity crisis that is draining health reserves.

Sedentary lifestyles and increasing consumption of convenience foods are being blamed for the dramatic rise in obesity levels in England. The NHS Information Centre reports that in 2007, one in four adults was classified as obese. If left unchecked this could rise to nine in 10 adults by 2050.

The results of this independent study, led by Dr Dirk Vissers in Belgium, show that Power Plate® exercise, combined with a calorie-controlled diet, has the potential both to help overweight people lose weight and to maintain this weight loss.*

It concluded that combining whole body vibration (WBV) training with caloric restriction can help to achieve a sustained long-term weight loss of 5-10%. The preliminary data show that WBV training may have the potential to reduce visceral adipose tissue (VAT) more than aerobic exercise in obese adults, possibly making it a meaningful addition to future weight loss programs.

The study showed that those who exercised on Power Plate® machines had a much greater decrease in visceral fat tissue (tissue which sits between the organs in the abdomen). High levels of visceral fat are a major health concern, as there is a strong correlation with the incidence of cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Even those who are not visibly overweight can still have high levels of visceral fat.

This particular study involved 79 overweight people (61 of whom completed the study), who were randomly divided into four groups. The first group received a low-calorie diet only, the second dieted and did traditional fitness training, including cardio and weights exercises, the third group dieted and followed a progressive Power Plate® machine training program, while the fourth was the control group.

Each group followed its own specific intervention for six months and was then tracked for another six months, with no intervention. The subjects’ measurements were taken at three, six and 12 months through the study.

After the first six months, the group who dieted and followed a Power Plate® fitness regime showed both the largest percentage decrease in body weight and in visceral adipose tissue. Those in the diet and traditional fitness groups showed a slightly smaller decrease in both measurements, while the control group registered no significant change.

More significantly, in measurements taken at the end of the year-long study, after all groups had returned to their usual lifestyle, the group who exercised on the Power Plate® machines were found to have maintained the level of reduction in visceral adipose tissue. However the diet and fitness groups had returned to the baseline level for visceral adipose tissue.

The Power Plate® machine is a certified Level IIa Medical Device, meaning health professionals can prescribe Acceleration Training™ exercise as part of a wider treatment regime to aid a range of medical conditions, including weight reduction programmes.
As overweight and obese people are at much higher risk of developing serious diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and breast, endometrial and colon cancer, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this puts a major strain on both the government’s scarce health resources and the wider economy.

Figures from the Department of Health released in March 2009 show that issues such as lost productivity through increased absenteeism cost England about £16 billion each year and this could rise to £50 billion by 2050.
As obesity continues to take its toll on society, being cited by the Department of Health as the cause of 9,000 premature deaths each year and reducing life expectancy by an average of nine years, these findings show that training on a Power Plate® machine may offer a meaningful addition to future weight loss programs.

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* Vissers, D., Verrijken, A., Mertesn, I., Van Gils, C., Van de Sompel, A., Truijen, S., Van Gaal, L. Effect of Long-Term Whole Body Vibration Training on Visceral Adipose Tissue: A Preliminary Report. Obes Facts 2010, 3 (DOI: 10.1159/

Power Plate® machines are available to buy from Power Plate International and major department stores including Harrods and John Lewis. For more information please visit or call +44 20 7586 7200.

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