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Ballroom dancing for the elderly



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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2014 Sep-Oct;59(2):312-6. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2014.03.013. Epub 2014 Apr 5.

Postural balance and falls in elderly nursing home residents enrolled in a ballroom dancing program.

da Silva Borges EG1, de Souza Vale RG2, Cader SA3, Leal S4, Miguel F2, Pernambuco CS5, Dantas EH5.

The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of a ballroom dancing program on the postural balance of institutionalized elderly residents.

The sample consisted of 59 sedentary elderly residents of long-stay institutions who were randomly assigned to a ballroom dancing experimental group (EG, n=30) or a control group (CG, n=29).

The ballroom dancing program consisted of three 50-min sessions each week on alternate days over a 12-week period. The dances included the foxtrot, waltz, rumba, swing, samba and bolero.

The medical records of the subjects were reviewed to determine the number of falls they experienced in the three months prior to the intervention. Postural static balance was assessed using a Lizard (Med. EU., Italy, 2010) stabilometric and posturometric platform.

Only patients in the EG lost a significant amount of weight (Δ=-2.85 kg) when comparing the pre- and post-test postural balance assessments.

The intergroup comparison revealed a reduced lower limb weight distribution difference in the EG post-test compared to the CG post-test (p=0.012). In the intragroup comparison, the EG patients experienced significantly fewer falls post-test relative to pre-test (p<0.0001). This improvement was not observed for patients in the CG. In the intergroup analysis, we observed fewer falls in the EG post-test compared to the CG post-test (p<0.0001).

Therefore it was concluded that sedentary elderly people living in long-term institutions can improve their balance via a ballroom dancing program. This activity improved balance and reduced the number of falls in this elderly population.

Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Accidental falls; Frail elders; Postural equilibrium; Therapeutics

PMID:  2484560

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