A New Study in Brazil about Ballroom Dancing
A new study done in Brazil has found that elderly individuals who have taken up ballroom dancing seem to have an improvement in balance along with mobility. The study found that those individuals had more then half an improvement in their mobility along with balance. The participants of the study who lived in three different nursing homes and were given ballroom dance lessons three days a week for a periods of three months, and the results spoke for themselves.
Many participating didn’t find this to be exercise or therapy but actually fun. They seem to enjoy putting on their dance shoes on and learning the ballroom dances. What they didn’t realize was when putting on these women dance shoes ballroom shoes is that the activity would lead to them improving their over all out look health wise. It also gave them something to look forward when putting those shoes on along with feeling like they had a sense of well being again.
It’s a known fact that the older someone get the harder it is for them to get around. We tend to lose much of our muscle range and strength. This can lead to leg problems, which can lead to balance issues and subsequent falls that can lead to injury.
The sad thing is in a nursing home activity of an individual can even be less. There is very little opportunity to be active in them. So, the idea o having nursing home residents take up ballroom dancing helped to eliminate this issue. Now they are more active and enjoying themselves in the process. There was a test to check each individual’s balance along with range of motion.
All the participants chosen for the study had been less then active, and were well over the age of 60. All the participants were given medical examinations and their past medical histories were taken into consideration before they were allowed to take part in the ballroom dance activity. This was done to see if there were any existing medical conditions to take into consideration and to also see if any of them had experienced a fall in the past few months. These individuals were then placed into two groups, one group was given ballroom dancing lessons while the other group didn’t change their activities as all.
After an individual was placed in the ballroom dancing group they went on to the classes, which were about an hour each. The classes would begin with ten-minutes of stretching along with warming up. After this the participants would then dance to the ballroom dances such as the foxtrot, the waltz, and the rumba. After each ten-minute session of dancing there would be a ten minute break.
When the three-month period was over the balance of each individual was checked again, and found that there was an improvement in around half the participants. But perhaps the greatest discovery made was that prior to the study, all the participants had taken around five falls if not more in the three-month period prior to the test. This number also decreased to around one per participants in the dance group. While in the group that was to remain inactive the falls were still as frequent.
So, will such a study create a new interest in ballroom dancing for the elderly. Well, if this Brazilian study is any indicator, the elderly can actually enjoy getting up and moving once more. All they need to do is hit the ballroom floor then have a ball doing it.