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What is Passive Exercise?

By Harriette Halepis
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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When a person performs specific exercises that do not require a vast amount of physical movement or exertion, this type of exercise is referred to as passive exercise. Many people believe that, with the help of certain devices, exercising does not have to be a strenuous activity. In order to partake in this type of exercise program, a person must have the necessary equipment.

There are three popular types of passive exercise routines, and all of these types include specific equipment. The first type is called "whole body vibration," and it was invented based upon a training routine that Russian astronauts often go through. Using a special whole body vibration platform, exercisers stand on the platform while the device shakes. The idea behind this device is that standing on a shaking platform will trick the body into preventing a fall. Thus, the body automatically contracts and tightens during platform usage.

Another popular form of passive exercise is conducted using a Chi Machine. Using the same basic principle as the whole body vibration technique, a Chi Machine causes the entire body to shake once the machine has been attached to the ankles. The main different between a Chi Machine and a whole body vibration platform is that a user does not have to be standing up in order to use a Chi Machine. Instead, this machine effectively shakes the body while a person is lying down.

Lastly, electronic muscle stimulators are a large part of the passive exercise equipment group. These devices include belts, stimulators, and toners that are attached to strong batteries. When an electronic muscle stimulator belt is attached to the body, small electronic shocks are sent to the muscles. The idea behind this piece of passive exercise equipment is that the small shocks will cause the muscles to contract.

While every passive exercise device mentioned above promises to tone, strengthen, and trim the body, many experts do not believe that these exercises are effective. In fact, various medical experts have agreed that while these exercises can stimulate circulation, they are not a suitable replacement for a total body workout. Still, a large number of people use passive exercise techniques on a regular basis.

Before beginning any kind of new exercise routine, it is important to speak with your doctor. Some of the exercises mentioned above may cause not be suitable for people who suffer from heart problems. Likewise, the long-term effects of any passive exercise routine have not yet been discovered.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon121984 — On Oct 26, 2010

The writer seems to be speaking from the narrow and insular view of a healthy able person and is solely addressing an audience of healthy able people.

What about the sizable subset of people who have illnesses, disabilities and age-related complications in which a good old sweating workout isn't an option? Some benefit is better than none.

And being on disability isn't much of an income - and health insurance, well, we know how bad insurance has gotten.

I want quality of life and not longevity if it means living in a nursing home draining money from the people and family's inheritance.

I once read that 20 percent of the population is disabled. Don't know how accurate that is, but that's a sizable percentage. (1 out of 5).

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