Put on Your Dancing Shoes to Stay Nimble as You Age

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Older women who dance have a lower risk of developing disabilities that impact daily activities like walking, bathing, dressing, eating, and going to the bathroom, according to research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.

This study was led by researchers at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology in Japan and involved 1,003 women living at home who did not have any disabilities at the start of the study. They were interviewed about their participation in 16 types of exercise.

During an eight-year follow-up period, 130 participants developed a disability, defined as dependence in at least one type of daily activity. After adjusting for other risk factors, the researchers found that participation in dancing was associated with a 73 percent lower risk of developing a disability, compared to not dancing.

No other type of exercise was specifically linked to a lower disability risk. According to the researchers, this may be because dance requires balance, strength, and endurance, as well as cognitive abilities like adaptability, concentration, artistry, and memory for choreography.

Sourced from: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports