Dancing Benefits Older Adults

Hip pain and knee pain are common ailments among  older adults. Research developed suggests that dancing is a mode of physical activity that may allow older adults to improve their physical function, health and well-being and can help ease pain.

The study published in Geriatric Nursing had participants who had lower-extremity stiffness or pain assigned to either a Healthy-StepsTM dance therapy or a control group. The dance group was instructed to meet up to twice per week for 45 minutes per session.

Evidence indicated that older adults can significantly improve their aerobic power, lower body muscle endurance, strength and flexibility, balance, agility, and gait through dancing. More evidence suggested that dancing might improve older adults’ lower body bone-mineral content and muscle power, as well as reduce the prevalence of falls and cardiovascular health risks.

Throughout the study, participants reported less pain and stiffness than before the intervention. The researchers also observed improvements in gait speed among the dance group, as measured via a 10-meter walk test.

While study results were positive, the researchers suggested modifying the program as needed. Dance based therapy for older adults needs to be gentle, slow and include options so it can be performed standing or sitting because their fatigue or pain level can change day to day.

Resource: IDEA Fitness Journal

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