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Frequency of Vibration Plate [ Definition & Influences ]

In this article
  • Definition of Vibration Frequency
    • Frequency of Linear Vibration
    • Frequency of Pivotal Oscillation
    • What is Speed Level?
  • Influences on Human Body
    • Natural Frequency & Resonance Effect
    • Natural Frequency of Body¬†and Tissues
    • Frequency Influences of Different Types of Vibration Plates

Definition of Vibration Frequency

The frequency of a vibration plate indicates its reciprocating movement count in one second. The unit of frequency is Hertz or Hz.

For example, if we say a vibration plate vibrates at a frequency of 15Hz. That means the vibration plate moves up-and-down 15 times in a second.

Frequency of Linear Vibration

The animations below compare two linear vibration plates, one vibrates at 1Hz, the other vibrates at 4Hz.

1Hz linear vibration 5Hz linear vibration
Frequency = 1Hz
Vibration plate move up-and-down 1 time in a second.
Frequency = 4Hz
Vibration plate move up-and-down 4 time in a second.

These animations are slow motion for demonstration purpose. In reality, linear vibration plates usually vibrate at the frequency range between 15Hz and 50Hz.

Frequency of Pivotal Oscillation

The animations below compare two pivotal oscillation plates, one vibrates at 1Hz, the other vibrates at 3Hz.

1Hz linear vibration 5Hz linear vibration
Frequency = 1Hz
Vibration plate move up-and-down 1 time in a second.
Frequency = 4Hz
Vibration plate move up-and-down 3 time in a second.

These animations are slow motion for demonstration purpose. In reality, pivotal oscillation plates usually vibrate at the frequency range between 5Hz and 15Hz.

Frequency is a simple and accurate expression of how fast a vibration plate vibrates.

What is Speed Level?

It is necessary to explain the speed level because many manufacturers use speed level other than frequency to indicate the speed of their vibration plates. Speed level is relative to each individual model that each manufacturer defines on their own. It does not tell the actural speed, and may be misleading.

Speed level does not tell the actural speed.

Many manufacturers use speed level to indicate how fast a vibration plate vibrates. However, speed level is a relative value for the individual model, defined by the manufacturer by their own. You can not compare speed levels between models without knowing the actually frequency or the motor rotation speed in rpm.

For example, one manufacturer may program 20 speed levels for their vibration plate that has the max frequency of 12Hz; another manufacturer may program 99 speed levels for their vibration plate that has the same max frequency of 12Hz. Both machines have the same max frequency (up-and-down 12 times a second), but one claims 20 speed, the other claims 99 speed.

It makes no sense to program 99 speed levels for a vibration machine that only move up-and-down 12 times a second.

Some manufacturers use even larger speed level numbers, such as 180, purely for marketing hype. A larger number is actually awkward to use and may lead to confusion.

Vibration frequency is NOT AC electricity frequency

As an electric appliance, a vibration plate usually has power supply information printed on its product label, such as 120V / 60Hz. The 60Hz indicates the frequency of AC electricity that this product is designed to use. It is different to the vibration frequency.

Influences on Human Body

Vibration frequency and amplitude are the most important parameters for a vibration plate. These two parameters together determine the intensity and stimulation pattern of the vibration.

At the same amplitude, the higher the frequency, the more vigorous the vibration impact on our body.

Natural Frequency & Resonance Effect

When vibration transfers from one object to another, if the vibration frequency of the source (vibration plate) matches the natural frequency of the target object (our body), the target object vibrates more vigorously, achieving the highest vibration amplitude. This phenomenon is called resonance.

The natural frequency of a object is determined by the object's mass and rigidity. It is directly proportional to rigidity and inversely proportional to mass. A heavier and more flexible object has a lower natural frequency, while a lighter and more rigid object has a higher natural frequency.

Natural Frequencies of Body and Tissues

The natural frequencies of our body and organs vary due to their different weights and flexibilities.

  • Human body as a whole, which is heavy and flexible, has a lower natural frequency, range between 5Hz and 10Hz, depending on the person's weight, height and flexibility.
  • Soft tissues are smaller in weight and are flexible, their natural frequency is higher than the whole body, ranged between 10Hz and 30Hz.
  • Skeletal muscle, as a type of soft tissue, is special about its natural frequency. Skeletal muscle can become rigid through contraction. Therefore a contracted muscle has higher natural frequency then a loose muscle. Muscle contraction plays important role in our body's response to vibration stimulation. Because of this attribute, skeletal muscles have a wide range of natural frequency from 10Hz to 50Hz.
  • Eyeballs are small, but soft, their natural frequency is about 20Hz.
  • Bones are very rigid, so their natural frequency is high, from hundreds to thousands of Hz.

Understanding the natural frequency of our body and tissues, we can better anticipate our response to vibration stimulation. We expect our whole body to be vibrated the most at the input frequency between 5Hz and 10Hz, and our muscle tissues to be vibrated the most between 10Hz and 50Hz.

Therefore, a vibration plate operating between 5Hz and 10Hz would cause high overall body vibration but less impact on muscles. On the other hand, a vibration plate operating between 15Hz and 50Hz would not produce as much whole-body vibration but would target muscles more, inducing increased skeletal muscle contraction.

Frequency Influences of Different Types of Vibration Plates

Most vibration plates offer adjustable frequency. New users should start with the lowest vibration frequency and gradually increase the frequency to the desired level after adapted to the vibration.

Most vibration plates offer adjustable frequencies. New users should start with the lowest vibration frequency and gradually increase it to the desired level after adapting to the vibrations.

Linear Vibration vs Pivotal Oscillation
Linear Vibration Plates Pivotal Oscillation Plates
15 - 40 Hz 5 - 15 Hz
Resonance on soft / muscle tissues Resonance on the body as a whole
Not shakiing the entire body much but inducing additional intensive muscle contractions. The muscles are tense.
(Usually vibrate at low amplitude, less than 3mm.)
Swinging the entire body high but causing less additional muscle contraction. Muscles are loose.
(Usually vibrate at high amplitude, up to 10mm. )

The frequency of linear vibration plate model VT003F and VT007 (15Hz - 40Hz) are designed to match the skeletal muscle's natural frequency for resonance effect, to achieve rapidly repeated intensive muscle contraction.

Designed to Achieve Muscle Resonance
Vibration Plate Frequency Range
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