The effects of whole body vibration (WBV) have been studied extensively in occupational medicine. In particular, it has been shown that when the body undergoes chronically to whole body vibrations spinal degeneration is likely to be one of the deleterious outcomes. Low back pain has been shown to be the leading major cause of industrial disability in the population under the age of 45 years and has been linked to whole body vibration exposure encountered in some industrial settings. Whole body vibration has been recently purposed as an exercise intervention suggesting its effectiveness in increasing force-generating capacity in lower limbs and low back. It has also been reported to be an effective non-pharmacological intervention for patients with low back pain. Relatively short exposure to whole body vibration has been also shown to increase the serum levels of testosterone and growth hormone. The combined effects on the neuromuscular system and endocrine system seem to suggest its effectiveness as a therapeutic approach for sarcopenia and possibly osteoporosis. Due to the danger of long-term exposure to whole body vibration, it is important to develop safe exercise protocols in order to determine exercise programs for different populations.
Foliar fungicides are widely used to control pests on several crops and, from mid-2000s, have become more common on maize. The yield advantages derived from foliar fungicides on maize, as for other crops, could be related not only to the direct control of the disease, but also to physiological effects on the plant. The aim of the research was to evaluate the response of maize to the application of an azoxystrobin and propiconazole mixture. The fungicide was applied to hybrids with different susceptibility to northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) foliar disease at the beginning of stem elongation or at the tassel emergence stage. The best application timing resulted to be at the tassel emergence stage for both pathogen control and grain yield. The treatment effectively controlled disease development on the two hybrids susceptible to NCLB. However, the yield of the moderately-resistant hybrid increased unexpectedly to a comparable extent, even though no significant fungal containment was detected from a visual inspection. The peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activity, the protein leaf content and the translocation efficiency of carbohydrates from the leaf to the ear were not influenced by the fungicide treatments, differently from what had been previously shown on wheat. The authors suggest that rather than the improved metabolism of the reactive oxygen species, the positive effect of the fungicide on the moderately-resistant hybrid is due to other physiological mechanisms. It is hypothesized that the fungicide leads to better yields as it prevents the allocation of metabolic resources to actively defend against the pathogen.