If you're looking to get some of the benefits of exercise without doing the work, here's some good news. A new research report published online in The FASEB Journal shows that low-intensity vibrations led to improvements in the immune function of obese mice. If the same effect can be found in people, this could have clinical benefits for obese people suffering from a wide range of immune problems related to obesity.
"This study demonstrates that mechanical signals can help restore an immune system compromised by obesity," said Clinton Rubin, Ph.D., study author from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. "While it is well known that obesity can cripple many physiologic systems, this work suggests that mechanical signals-in the absence of drugs-can help combat this disease and its sequelae. That these mechanical signals are so brief, and so mild, is further evidence of how exquisitely tuned our body is to external signals, and that remaining active-climbing stairs at work, taking a walk at lunch, standing while reading a book-will help achieve and retain good health. Stand up!"